Sydney stumbles in away clash with the Glory

A determined late fightback wasn’t enough to save Sydney FC today, with John Kosmina’s men going down 2-1 against the Perth Glory.

They finished with a flurry, but a determined late fightback wasn-t enough to save Sydney FC from suffering its second defeat of the season this-afternoon, with John Kosmina-s men going down 2-1 to the Glory in sweltering conditions in Perth.

A goal at the start of each half to Perth striker Jamie Harnwell sealed the Sky Blue-s fate in what finished up a spiteful encounter at Energy Australia Stadium, with Sydney centre back, Iain Fyfe given his marching orders four minutes before the end of the match.

“It-s a disappointing result, ” said Kosmina. “Things didn-t go our way today but we have to put that behind us quickly and prepare for another tough game on the road against Melbourne next weekend.”

Boasting a great record against the Glory, and boosted by its Youth team-s 5-3 win in the curtain-raiser, Sydney went into the contest with plenty of reason to feel confident but quickly found itself on the back foot.

After almost scoring in the 3rd minute, Jamie Harnwell gave Perth the lead two minutes later when he capitalised on some great lead up work from pacey midfielder, Nikita Rukavytsya.

FC turned over possession cheaply at halfway, and after out-sprinting Tony Popovic, Rukavytsya served it up on a platter for Harnwell, who gave keeper, Ivan Necevski no chance with the finish.

The visitors continue to struggle with their passing through the middle of the park but in the 10th minute Brendon Santalab got them back on the right track.

Best known for his long-bombs, the midfielder proved he-s just as dangerous from close range, receiving the ball on the left edge of Perth-s box, beating one defender, then firing home the equaliser from an acute angle.

That kick-started Sydney-s attack and Mark Bridge was unlucky not to give his side the lead soon after, denied by a brilliant save from Glory keeper, Tando Velaphi when his shot deflected off the defence.

After twenty minutes the players took a much needed drinks break to beat the West Australian heat, and the interruption seemed to ruin the rhythm of both teams.

The Sky Blues were the quickest to settle however, and Sydney Centurian, Steve Corica did his best to stretch the scoreline, only to see his well taken header denied by another athletic save.

While Velaphi was putting on a keeping clinic at one end, Necevski was not to be outdone, denying Perth two certain goals in the space of five minutes leading up to the main break with one-on-one efforts against Rukavytsya and Adriano Pellegrino.

The sides went to the sheds tied at one all, but FC paid the price for another slow start immediately after the resumption.

One minute after the restart Pellegrino sent to ball in from the right and Harnwell was rewarded for his attacking instincts, heading home his second and reclaiming a one goal advantage.

Sydney was dealt what could prove to be an even bigger blow in the 50th minute, with Captain, Tony Popovic forced from the field with a probable hamstring complaint.

FC-s re-shuffled defence dug deep to deny wave after wave of Perth pressure but Necevski again needed to be near his best to rescue his side when Rukavytsya got in behind the back line.

The visitors were desperate for a spark and gradually began to get on top after the second drinks break of the game, but couldn-t convert their possession into clear opportunities on goal.

Santalab was unlucky not to score his second late in the game when his athletic header picked out the perfectly positioned Perth keeper.

Frustration got the better of Iain Fyfe in injury time and he received a straight red for pushing a Perth player who was attempting to wind down the clock by standing over the ball.

Despite being down a man Sydney finished with a surge, with Santalab skying a tough chance in the 92nd minute and Shannon Cole coming close with a 40 metre free kick in the 94th.

It wasn-t meant to be, however, and when referee Peter O-Leary blew full-time one minute later it was Perth left celebrating.

The Sky Blues must regroup quickly from the shock 2-1 defeat against the Hyundai A-League-s last placed side.

Next Saturday they-ll again be on the road for a heavyweight clash with the ladder-leading Melbourne Victory before a capacity crowd at the Telstra Dome.

Match Detail

Perth Glory 2 (Harnwell 5’/47′)
Sydney FC 1 (Santalab 10′)

Perth Glory: 2. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 4. Jamie COYNE (c) (22. Wayne SRHOJ 90′), 5. Jamie HARNWELL, 10. AMARAL, 11. Scott BULLOCH, 13. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (9. Adrian TRINIDAD 68′), 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. James DOWNEY, 18. Hayden FOXE, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 30. Tando VELAPHI (gk).

Substitutes not used: 7. Nick RIZZO, 20. Frank JURIC (gk).

Yellow Cards: Downey 27′.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Harnwell 5’/47′.

Sydney FC: 2. Iain FYFE, 6. Tony POPOVIC (c) (5. Mitchell PRENTICE 50′), 7. Rob MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (28. Bobby PETTA 81′), 11. Brendan SANTALAB, 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE , 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 23. John ALOISI (18. Adam CASEY 73′).

Substitute not used: 30. John FILAN (gk).

Yellow Cards: Aloisi 45′, Santalab 90′.
Red Cards: Fyfe 90’+1.
Goals: Santalab 10′.

Referee: Peter O’Leary
Crowd: 7,759.