Glory edge closer to NSL Grand Final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Glory edge closer to NSL Grand Final

By Tim Clarke 06/04/2003 05:37:11 AM Comments (0)

Perth Glory has returned to the top of the National Soccer League finals series ladder after a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Adelaide City Force at Perth Oval on Saturday evening.

The return of prolific Perth marksman Damian Mori from suspension proved the catalyst for the Glory's return to winning ways, although the 3-1 scoreline did not reflect the efforts of Adelaide.

After the first sending off in a 377-game career on the last day of the regular season, Mori was forced to sit out the first two games of the finals series.

Perth manager Mich d'Avray opted for the immediate restoration of Mori to the side and the all-time leading NSL goal-scorer needed just seven minutes to signal his return against his former club.

A swinging cross from strike partner Bobby Despotovski left Adelaide keeper Lupce Acevski in two minds, and Mori stooped low at the near post to nod in a goal.

The match marked Perth defender Shane Pryce's 200th NSL game, but despite all his experience he could do nothing to stop the Adelaide equaliser 11 minutes later.

Gianluca Lagati looped in a teasing cross, which allowed Claudio Pelosi to easily beat Pryce in the air to power home the header. Pryce's night got worse when he was yellow carded for a crude challenge.

After Mori had flicked a cheeky backheeled effort narrowly wide from close range, Glory midfielder Brad Hassell restored the home team's lead with a cracking drive.

Simon Colosimo's free kick was partly cleared to Hassell, who fired low and hard through a crowd of bodies from the edge of the box to give Acevski no chance.

Although Adelaide dominated possession after the break, the better chances fell to Perth, with Hassell and Matt Horsley both wasting good chances when well placed.

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