Perth Glory came from behind three times to share the spoils with Melbourne City in a crazy but compelling 3-3 epic at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.
In a helter skelter match that had everything - including three penalties - Glory goalkeeper, Liam Reddy, put in a heroic performance to save two of them and keep the visitors in the game.
Goals to Tim Cahill (9') and Fornaroli (36', 61') put the home side in front as each time Glory pegged them back, first through Diego Castro (21', 40') and then Chris Harold (64').
Cahill had the ball in the net twice in the first half but his second was chalked off for climbing over Djulbic.
While Glory defender Marc Warren was probably the luckiest man to stay on the pitch after coughing up two penalties while sitting on a yellow.
The dramatic finale saw Glory's Dino Djulbic and City substitute Fernando Brandan both red carded for a scuffle in the box. Contentiously City was awarded their third penalty and the opportunity to take all three points.
But for the second time MotM, Reddy, denied Fornaroli from the spot to keep the scores level at the final whistle.
The result sees City remain in 4th but falling off the pace, while Glory move up one to 6th and back in finals contention.
It took under 10 minutes for Cahill’s trademark header to put City in front after Nicolas Colazo’s corner found the Socceroo veteran.
City continued to press and Cahill had a second goal disallowed.
Minutes later at the other end, Glory pinched one back as Harold skinned Manny Muscat then cut-back for Castro who finished in style.
City was back in the lead again in the 36th minute as the dynamic duo, Fornaroli and Cahill combined well and the Uruguayan made it 2-1.
The home side had a golden opportunity two minutes later when Marc Warren brought down Bruce Kamau in the penalty area.
Referee Shaun Evans kept his cards in his pocket and a groan echoed throughout the stadium when Fornaroli’s penalty was beaten away by Reddy before Adam Taggart’s long ball found Castro for the equaliser.
About 20 minutes after the break, City claimed another penalty courtesy of Warren. Evans originally pointed for a corner until the linesman called it handball against Warren. This time El Tuna converted from the spot to make it 3-2.
Three minutes later a Nebojsa Marinkovic’s long switching ball from the left found Harold on the right who surged forward finished it cleanly on an acute angle to equalise.
In the 79th minute Neil Kilkenny’s dink from midfield nearly paid dividends when it was poorly dealt with by the centre-backs only for it to land to Kamau, but Reddy was there to rescue again.
Marinkovic then hit the crossbar and post in the final three minutes.
Pandemonium broke out in the final minute when a Cahill header forced a save from Reddy, only for Evans to award a third penalty to City after Djublic tussled with Brandan.
The Glory defender was sent off and after a long discussion between officials, Brandan also got his marching orders for retaliating.
Both benches were up in arms, and Cahill and Keogh argued as the penalty was taken, Reddy denying Fornaroli for the second time.
City now travel to Gosford on New Year’s Eve to take on Central Coast Mariners while the Glory will not fly back to Perth until the conclusion of the Western Sydney Wanderers game on New Year’s Day.
CITY 3: (Cahill 9’, Fornaroli 36’, 61’)
GLORY 3: (Castro 21’, 40’, Harold 64’)
Melbourne City: 20. BOUZANIS Dean, 2. MUSCAT Manny (58’ 27. BRANDAN Fernando), 5. FRANJIC Ivan, 8. KILKENNY Neil, 9. COLAZO Nico, 10. CACERES Anthony (80’ GENREAU Denis), 11. KAMAU Bruce (90’ ARZANI Daniel), 17. CAHILL Tim, 21. TONGYIK Ruon, 23. FORNAROLI Bruno, 26. BRATTAN Luke
Perth Glory: 33. REDDY Liam, 3. WARREN Marc (77’ 20. WILLIAMS Aryn), 2. GRANT Alex, 6. DJUBLIC Dino, 8. GRIFFITHS Rostyn, 9. KEOGH Andy, 22. TAGGART Adam (56’ MARINKOVIC Nebojsa), 14. HAROLD Chris, 15. WILSON Brandon, 17. CASTRO Diego (80’ CHIANESE Joel), 19. RISDON Josh