Glory applies heat to NSL title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Glory applies heat to NSL title

By Daniel Pace 05/01/2003 10:11:50 PM Comments (0)

Perth Glory are applying the heat to defending champions Olympic Sharks in the battle for the national soccer league's minor premiership.

The Glory thrashed the Football Kingz 5-0 in Perth last night while Parramatta Power upset the Sharks 2-1 at Toyota Park.

The round 16 results mean that Perth (34 points) has moved to just one point behind Olympic, with fourth-placed Newcastle United seemingly out of contention for a top two position following their scoreless draw against Northern Spirit at Brookvale Oval.

The minor premier will secure six bonus points in the top six championship series while the team finishing second will get three points.

With just two points separating the sixth-placed Power and the Brisbane Strikers (11th), the race to clinch a finals berth is proving to be a close one.

Phillips was naturally disappointed with the loss to Parramatta but, with 10 rounds to go, wasn't overly concerned about his narrow lead over Perth on the ladder.

"We had some bad plays and individuals who got us home in the past few weeks didn't perform (Sunday night)," said Phillips after a double to striker John Buonavoglia finished off the Sharks.

"Parramatta sat back, absorbed the pressure and then caught us on the break."

Perth scored after eight minutes against the Kingz, through midfielder Matt Horsley, and further goals to Shane Pryce and gun striker Bobby Despotovski gave the home side a 3-0 halftime lead.

German import Andre Gumprecht scored a brace in the 54th and 85th minutes to seal a convincing victory over the Auckland-based side, which dropped to tenth on the ladder, with the only sour note being an ankle injury to Despotovski.

Newcastle coach Ian Crook called for afternoon summer matches to be scrapped after his side was held to a scoreless draw against a gallant Northern Spirit in scorching heat at Brookvale Oval.

"I think the most sensible option is to put matches back to 7.30pm. It was tough out there," Crook said.

"We're not making excuses - both sides didn't hit a great patch in the first half and there were a lot of loose passes - but it (the early start) doesn't help the situation."

The draw has hauled the Spirit off the bottom of the table, one point ahead of Marconi, although they have three deferred games yet to play.

South Melbourne players dedicated their first away win of the season to team-mate Robert Liparoti after the defender suffered his second serious knee injury.

The visitors beat an under-strength Sydney United 1-0 at Edensor Park through a Vaughan Coveny goal, but their victory was soured by news Liparoti suffered cruciate ligament damage.

The result moved South Melbourne up to third and knocked United out of the top six.

Adelaide City jumped to fifth spot following a 3-0 victory over Marconi at Hindmarsh Stadium and Brisbane kept in touch with the top six with a 1-all draw against Wollongong at WIN Stadium, both on Friday night.

Melbourne Knights had the bye.

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