North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory play out six-goal thriller
North Queensland Fury have netted a late goal to force a 3-3 draw with Perth Glory. A record A-League crowd for Perth had turned out to see new recruit Robbie Fowler against his former club but they managed to spoil the party in the final minute.
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth Crowd: 16,019 Referee: Kevin Docherty Yellow cards:PG - Jacob Burns 25', Mile Sterjovski 29' NQF Eric Akoto 24', Simon Storey 33', Mark Hughes 45+2'
GOAL It was a dream start for the Glory with Branko Jelic netting the opener in just the 6th minute after a perfect cross from Adriano Pellegrino to the near post. The ball was played to the feet of the Serbian who finished expertly to send the Glory fans into raptures.
The signs looked ominous for the Fury as the Glory had plenty of confidence in the early stages and were peppering the goals but the visitors almost hit back in the 20th minute when David Williams was centimetres away from getting on the end of a free-kick but Tando Velaphi was on hand to do enough for the Glory. The ensuing corner created a goalmouth scramble with Velaphi looking shaky with the gloves but fortunately for the home side they were able to retain their lead.
North Queensland settled things down midway through the first half, taking the edge off proceedings after the Glory started in a blaze and managed an equaliser GOAL when Chris Payne teamed with Isaka Cernak before striking well from outside the area, beating Velaphi and making it 1-1 in the 34th minute.
The game evened out in the final ten minutes of the opening half after both sides had dominant times on the ball and the match remained 1-1 at the break.
Perth started more positively in the second term and came extremely close to a second goal when Scott Neville tried his luck from outside the area but after beating Fury keeper Justin Pasfield, the ball dipped onto the crossbar and away to safety for the visitors.
The Glory were looking dangerous again with chances coming thick and fast and they should have regained their lead in the 62nd minute when Robbie Fowler played in Mile Sterjovski who got himself into a one on one with Pasfield but he couldn't find the finish in what was a huge let off for the Fury.
GOAL Against the run of play, the Fury took the lead when Payne picked put David Williams with a perfect ball and the speedy striker made no mistake with a left-footed volley, making it 2-1 in the 64th minute.
Perth pushed hard to get themselves at least a point from the match and they struck level GOAL through Neville who finished powerfully from well outside the area after a good first touch following a corner which was cleared by the Fury.
The match was set up for a classic finish and for the Glory fans it was perfect GOAL when Jamie Harnwell chipped a ball forward for Pellegrino who lobbed into the path of Sterjovski who guided his header home to make it 3-2.
The home side were chasing a fourth goal whilst the Fury went about grabbing an equaliser and they created more drama when GOAL Chris Grossman got onto the end of a Cernak free-kick and headed home to make it 3-3 in the final minute and give both sides a point.
PG Tando Velaphi (gk), Scott Neville, Jamie Harnwell, Jamie Coyne, Naum Sekulovski, Jacob Burns, Steven McGarry, Adriano Pellegrino, Mile Sterjovski, Robbie Fowler (Skorich 83'), Branko Jelic (Howarth 71')
Subs - Aleks Vrteski (gk), Todd Howarth (71'), Anthony Skorich (83'), Andrija Jukic
Subs - Matt Ham (gk), Dyron Daal (77'), Brett Studman, Jason Spagnuolo (84')