Perth Glory have extended their lead at the top of the A-League ladder to nine points after cruising past Brisbane Roar in front of an impressive crowd of over 10,000 spectators.
After yesterday’s stalemate between the Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix, the pressure was on the Glory to improve their grip on the competition, and they made light work of it.
Jason Davidson got proceedings underway when he fired into the Roar net, beating goalkeeper Brendan White at his near post. Soon after, Keogh killed the contest when he slotted home from Neville’s bullet-cross, his first touch of the match.
The remaining 60 minutes was largely an exhibition match as the skillful glory trio of Castro, Ikonimidis and Keogh combined to terrorize the Brisbane defenders.
The result all but confirms the Glory’s first premiership in the A-League era, with neither the Victory nor Sydney FC likely to claw back the nine point gap with just nine games remaining.
Liam Reddy - 7
Had a shaky start after almost turning the ball into his own net 15 seconds into the match. Hardly tested thereafter.
Shane Lowry - 7
Far less noticeable when placed alongside Spiranovic, usually the trait of a good defensive unit.
Matt Spiranovic - 7
Provides the calming influence on his two fellow CB’s, resulting in one of the most sturdy and reliable defensive set-ups in A-League history, allowing Davidson and Franjic/Neville the freedom to get as high up the pitch as they please.
Dino Djulbic - 7
Sloppy with the ball at his feet, but defended well against a Roar side clearly lacking the potency of Adam Taggart. Surprisingly replaced by Joel Chianese in the 72nd minute. Not what the Roar wanted to see at 4-0 down.
Jason Davidson - 9
More of a winger than a defender, the fringe Socceroo found himself in effective attacking positions, and took his chance beautifully to open the scoring. Had paddocks of space on the left flank, and used it to effect throughout the match linking up with Keogh and Castro with ease.
Ivan Franjic - 7.5
Absolutely tore up Stefan nigro down the right wing. Everything good was going through the former Roar man until he was subbed off with a mysterious injury halfway through the first-half.
Neil Kilkenny - 7
Marshaled his team well, did not need to get too involved as the Roar struggled to mount any sustained attack. Triggered multiple attacks with incisive passing.
Juande - 7.5
Largely untroubled for most of the match. Does provide the occasional sloppy moment but a fairly clinical holding midfielder at the end of the day.
Chris Ikonimidis - 8
Becoming too good for this league very quickly. Played off Keogh beautifully and terrorized the roar defenders all night. Unlucky to finish the night without a goal after being subbed off at the 77thminute.
Diego Castro - 9.5
Pulled off some outrageous skill to set up Keogh for the third goal. Played with freedom and creativity- a joy for all A-League fans to watch.
Andy Keogh - 9
A perfect striker’s performance, smart enough to be in the perfect positions at the optimal time. Should be noted that Keogh ran hard to pressure the Roar defenders, forcing them into indiscriminate clearances.
Scott Neville- 8
Replaced Franjic in the x minute, provided an inch perfect assist with his first touch of the match. A very lively replacement for the experienced Franjic.
Joel Chianese- 7
Replaced Djulbic in the 72ndminute.
Fabio Ferreira- 7
Replaced Ikonimidis in the 77thminute.
Brendan White- 7
Left his near post wide open allowing Davidson to slot the opening goal. Let down by a defense that simply could not cope with the creativity and intent of the Glory attackers.
Dane Ingham- 5
Couldn’t get near the Glory attackers, whether that be Ikonimidis and Neville on the right or Castro and Davidson down the left flank. Needs to take more care with his passing.
Jacob Pepper- 6
Could have tracked Keogh better as Neville crossed for Glory’s second goal. Aside from that, Pepper was not responsible for any major errors.
Ruon Tongyik- 6
The A-League journeyman did okay in defensive one-on-one battles however Ruon provided nothing of note in attack.
Stefan Nigro- 5
Like Ingham, Nigro was simply unable to handle the overlap of the Glory attackers. The former victory right back was substituted at half time, seemingly from a tactical perspective rather than due to injury.
Nick D’agostino - 6
A decent player on the ball but was closed down as soon as he had possession by the midfield bull that is Neil Kilkenny. Replaced by Mikkelsen after an hour.
Matt Mckay - 7
Did not bring his usual clinical influence to his side. Unable to really impact the match.
Joe Caletti - 6
Struggled to break away from the formidable pairing of Kilkenny and Juande. No major influence on the match.
Dylan Wenzel-Halls - 7
Started brightly but quickly became deprived of the ball. Lucky not to be yellow carded for an extremely late shove on Ikonimidis. Attempted an audacious lob from his own half that nearly caught Reddy off guard.
Eric Beautheac - 5
Unable to get into the game at all. Beautheac’s body language throughout the match expressed frustration at his team’s inability to string a few passes together.
Henrique - 5
Not the slippery fish’s best performance, the Brazilian veteran turned the ball over in attack and defense, piling more pressure on his teammates.
Daniel Bowles - 6
Replaced Stefan Nigro at half time. Brought on to provide more defensive steel, however at 3-0 it was too little too late from Darren Davies.
Tobias Mikkelsen - 6
Replaced D’agostino on the 65th minute.
Jay Barnett - N/A
Replaced Dane Ingham 87th minute