Perth Glory Win Epic Semi Final
Published: 10 May 2019 Image credit: Getty Images
5-4 Penalty Shoot-Out victory over AdelaideIn one of the most dramatic games in A-League history, Perth Glory ensured they would host next week's A-League Grand Final, with Joel Chianese scoring the winning penalty.
The match was packed with drama - the game being sent into extra time with a goal in the 94th minute and the penalty shoot out had 5 shots in a row saved.
With 10 minutes to go in regular time, it looked like Perth were cruising into a home grand final.
2 goals from Diego Castro had put Glory into a comfortable position and they were able to control the game, despite a determined high energy effort from the visitors.
On 29 minutes, Castro finished a great team-passing move, getting on the end of an Ikonomidis pass, to slot in at the near post past Paul Izzo.
Castro doubled the lead on 74 minutes, cutting inside on the left wing to side-foot past the keeper via a slight deflection.
But the confidence visibly drained out of the home team on 81 minutes, when United substitute Baba Diawara rifled in a goalmouth scramble that the Glory just could not clear.
This set up a grandstand finish with United pushing forward but seemingly unable to get their second - until a Craig Goodwin corner, 4 minutes into stoppage time, again couldn't be cleared.
Goodwin got the ball out wide again and his cross was weakly cleared by the Glory defense - Adelaide midfielder Ryan Kitto had time to control the ball and drill it low into the bottom left corner to take the game into extra time.
Perth pulled ahead again on 104 minutes, with Scott Neville powerfully heading in a floating cross from Davidson.
But Marco Kurz's team, playing their second extra time in 5 days, could not be finished off and on 115 minutes, Michael Marrone absolutely buried a header from a Ryan Kitto cross, ending normal time at 3-3.
The penalty shoot-out had high drama - Diego Castro missing his penalty early on, but it seemed like no-one wanted to win, until Chianese stepped up, taking advantage of a Nathan Konstandopoulos penalty that was missed seconds earlier.
In the end, Glory probably deserved the victory, but Adelaide should get full credit for their role in one of the most memorable A-League semi-finals in its' history.