Perth Glory’s record-busting run isn’t just fuelling their A-League finals dream – it’s shaking up the title race.
Glory were at their magnificent best on Saturday night, knocking six past Brisbane Roar to push the league leaders into second place behind Western Sydney.
The dominant 6-3 triumph was Glory’s fifth in a row – a club record – and has pushed the once-lifeless side to within a point of the top six.
Coach Kenny Lowe delighted in the display, saying his first instinct was to “go to the bar and enjoy it”.
“There was a bit at stake for us to stay in the hunt, and we’ve come out with intent as well,” he said.
“It was end to end, chance after chance … it was a great game (and) a great advert for the league.”
Glory timed their success well.
Not only was the match in front of their biggest crowd of the season – 12,156 – who had turned out for the club’s 20th-anniversary celebrations.
But the result means next Friday night the club can jump into the finals positions for the first time this season if they defeat Western Sydney.
Lowe said the recipe to their success was simple.
“We’ve got some good players. We play in an unpredictable way,” he said.
“There’s a lot of freedom in the team.
“Throw in a few results and a bit of confidence and things happen.”
Glory’s surge puts enormous pressure on last season’s grand finalists, who are flirting with an exit from the top six.
Melbourne Victory laboured to a 1-0 loss at home to Adelaide United on Friday night, while Sydney FC shared the points with the Wanderers in an edgy derby.
The 1-1 result allowed Graham Arnold to keep his unbeaten derby record over Tony Popovic, but the Wanderers boss noted dryly the predicament facing the Sky Blues after the match.
“We had them for a period there at 1-0 where they looked very vulnerable and nervous,” he said.
“In the end, it’s an away point and we stay six clear of them.”
Sydney, like Victory, could be pushed out of the top six should Glory continue their run, but striker Matt Simon was staying positive.
“In the dressing room it feels like we’ve been playing well, and just had not much luck,” he said.
“It doesn’t feel like we’ve had a disastrous season. We’re still in a good position.
“The way the finals are set up you can win it from anywhere.”
Victory would rue a late winner from Bruce Kamau that makes it 12 games without defeat for Adelaide United.
The Reds moved up to third with their smash-and-grab effort.
Snapping at their heels is Melbourne City, a point behind in fourth place after a 4-1 belting of bottom club Central Coast.
The Mariners took an unlikely lead into halftime through Mitch Austin, but conceded four second-half goals.
Aaron Mooy scored from the penalty spot and a free kick, with Patrick Kisnorbo and Ben Garuccio adding to the tally.
In Newcastle, Danish striker Morten Nordstrand scored twice in the second half to give the Jets a 3-2 win over Wellington Phoenix.
Hamish Watson scored a first-half brace to put the Nix ahead, but was dismissed after the break as Newcastle kept alive their faint finals hopes.