Perth Glory have powered in to their second straight FFA Cup final as they managed a 3-1 win over Melbourne City at nib Stadium on Wednesday night. The win sees Perth through to take on the winner of the Hume City, Melbourne Victory semi-final, ending hopes of a Melbourne derby final.
It was a good start for the hosts, and Perth nearly punished their former keeper in the second minute of the match. A corner was sent in to Chris Harold who had a free header at the far post which Tando Velaphi punched clear.
The chances kept flowing for Perth and they had two in quick succession, nearly getting the opening goal early on. The first was as Harold sent in a low cross which Velaphi got to, but almost sent in to the back of the net before a corner fell to a free Michael Thwaite but he sent his header over the bar.
Melbourne City had the first clear chance in the 18th minute and they could well have had the lead after a nice long ball. That ball found Bruno Fornaroli who controlled well but sent his effort well wide of goal with Ante Covic scrambling.
In the 24th minute the opening goal came and it was through another Perth Glory set piece that finally paid off. The corner found Harold who head it across the face for Gyorgy Sandor who tapped it home easily to give Perth a deserved lead.
Melbourne City’s chances took a knock in the 30th minute after a big clash from a Perth Glory free-kick. Both Velaphi and Nebojsa Marinkovic ran in for the ball which saw both men on the ground and in lots of pain, Velaphi coming out of the clash worse, seeing him need to be taken off for Thomas Sorensen coming on in goal.
A chance from Aaron Mooy gave City a great opportunity to equalize in the 41st minute as he crossed it in to the far post. Jack Clisby was able to get a header away but Ante Covic was able to get down to it well, making a save against the post.
That was only a temporary stay of execution for Perth Glory as they made it 1-1 right near the end of the half. A corner from Melbourne City was crossed in for Matthew Millar who was able to get a glancing header past Covic to equalize.
But before the half ended Perth Glory had their lead restored in stoppage time after a long ball from Ante Covic. That ball caught out the Melbourne city defense as a header from Diego Castro saw Ben Garrucio try to clear the ball but only put it in to the back of the net to make it 2-1 at the break.
Melbourne City had the first real chance in the 57th minute and again Mooy was the key to the play as he played in a perfect diagonal ball. That allowed Steve Kuzmanovski the chance from close range, but he inexplicably hit the ball well over the bar.
Mere inches separated Melbourne City from being able to equalize after some poor defence from Marc Warren opened the door. That allowed Brun Fornaroli to run in on goal but Dino Djulbic came back well to clear the effort before the corner came to Mooy which was cleared by Ante Covic.
City were punished for that missed opportunity as Glory effectively wrapped up the match with a third goal. This came on the counter as Diego Castro sent a perfect through ball for Mitch Harold who ran in and sent the ball across the face, past Sorensen, and in to the back of the net.
While City had further chances late in the match, it was Perth who had the best chance of the closing stages. Josh Risdon had possession on the edge of the box and turned in to the area, it was missed by Sorensen but Sidnei Sciola couldn’t hit the back of the net. Thankfully for Perth it mattered little as Melbourne City couldn’t manage a goal, sending Perth through to the FFA Cup final.