Football 4 years ago

Wrap Up: Glory v Heart

  • Wrap Up: Glory v Heart

Perth Glory capitulated in this 2-1 defeat to bottom of the table Melbourne Heart. This was a match where three points, or, at the very least avoiding defeat, was a necessity if Perth are to have serious finals ambitions this year.

Heart have undergone something of a resurgence in recent weeks, but they are hardly an A-League powerhouse, and they couldn't even count on the benefits of home advantage, with the game taking place outside Victoria.

It was in the unfamiliar, rather quaint surrounds of the Lavington Sports Ground, in the country town of Albury, New South Wales, that Glory served up another lacklustre display.

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As the temperatures soared to over 40°C, the decision to hold the match hundreds of kilometres inland, in the height of summer, was openly questioned by Glory players and officials.

After the match, Head Coach Kenny Lowe refused to use the conditions as an excuse, though he did note that recent import Darvydas Šernas could hardly breathe when he had to be brought off at half time.

When asked whether he had sent out his side with the goal of stifling the opposition, Lowe denied the accusation. He pointed to possession statistics that showed the match had been a '50/50' encounter.

But this ignores Heart's clear dominance when it came to cutting edge chances. The Melbourne side had 15 shots on goal to Perth's 10; the teams had eight and three on target respectively.

Not to mention they had the lead in the only statistic that really matters: goals.

Glory deserved to lose this one. They did not retain possession as well as Heart, who better adapted to the conditions.

Once again Perth suffered from too many hopeful punts forward to the isolated Shane Smeltz, while not possessing enough creativity in midfield or explosiveness on the flanks.

Glory can be a determined, dogged unit at times, but usually no more than that. Here it was not enough.

Perth's best chances came from set pieces. It was from a goalmouth scramble that came from a corner that Steven McGarry was able to hook home and equaliser to cancel out Patrick Kisnorbo's opener for Heart.

It was ultimately a mistake that cost Glory. A fatigued Chris Harold lost the ball near the halfway line. The ball through to Williams was initially blocked by the onrushing Vukovic, but Williams was there to head the rebound home.

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