Parramatta powers into NSL grand final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Parramatta powers into NSL grand final

By James Dampney 21/03/2004 05:41:12 AM Comments (0)

Parramatta's Ahmad Elrich and a controversial refereeing decision combined to grant the Power an NSL grand final berth after a 2-0 win over Perth in the second leg of their semi-final.

Elrich terrorised the Glory defence throughout the clash, scoring one goal and setting up another, but a dubious decision early in the second half hurt the home side.

Perth trailed 4-2 after the first leg at Parramatta Stadium last week and went into the break 1-0 down after a poor first half dominated by the visitors.

But a different Glory side emerged for the second half seeking the three goals it needed to equal the tie and advanced on the away goals rule.

It was a tall order against a confident Parramatta team, but Perth's hopes were dealt a knockout blow when referee Matthew Breeze ruled out what appeared to be a fair goal just four minutes into the half.

A Glory cross into the area bobbled loose after an attempted clearance by Power keeper Clint Bolton.

Substitute Adrian Caceres tapped a loose ball that had popped up off Perth's Damian Mori into the net but, after much deliberation, Breeze disallowed the goal for offside despite no flag being shown by the linesman.

The home side's momentum was rocked by the stoppage and Power added a second goal shortly afterwards to rub salt into the wound, Elrich passing out wide for Saso Petrovski to ram it past Perth keeper Jason Petkovic.

Parramatta finished a deserved 2-0 winner, after a cracking Elrich goal in the 15th minute of the first half had rocked the home side.

While reluctant to make excuses, Glory coach Mich d'Avray was unhappy with the disallowed goal.

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