Glory downs City 2-1 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Glory downs City 2-1

By Hannibal Rossi 09/05/2003 11:13:12 PM Comments (0)

Perth Glory confirmed its favouritism for an overdue national soccer league title by coming from behind to beat Adelaide City 2-1 at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Former Adelaide City midfielder Brad Hassell started a determined Perth fightback with a spectacular 25-metre goal in the 66th minute before Bobby Despotovski made it 2-1 on a controversial breakaway in the 81st minute.

Adelaide linesman Matthew Cream appeared to be struck by an object thrown from the crowd after Perth's second goal which eventuated after a breakaway by Damian Mori whom supporters believed should have been halted for offside.

The heartbreaking loss virtually eliminated City from the grand final race despite it taking a promising lead in the 43rd minute through New Zealand international Shane Smeltz in front of its biggest crowd of this season - more than 5500.

However, Adelaide City could not break a historical hoodoo in which it has failed to beat Perth at home to date in the NSL.

The crowd was treated to a list of golden attacking moments from each team from the start with City holding a slight edge in the first half yet still succumbing to its fourth loss of the season to Perth.

Ex-Socceroo Goran Lozanovski inspired early and set up Smeltz with a majestic, 50-metre pass that the striker turned on and beat Perth keeper Jason Petkovic with a clinical ground shot.

But the Glory had the answers and the hunger despite being a runaway leader in the revamped finals format and won through to its third grand final appearance in the past four season.

Hassell collected a pass a long way from goal but unleashed a wicked drive into the roof of the City net to haul Perth back from the brink of a rare finals defeat.

More controversy erupted among home fans when a 67th "goal" by Aurelio Vidmar was disallowed for handball which cost the former national team stalwart a caution and a suspension.

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