Can Super Shane Smeltz score more and lead Perth to further finals Glory? Don’t miss this Saturday showdown at nib Stadium!
Can Super Shane Smeltz score more and lead Perth to further finals Glory? Don-t miss this Saturday showdown at nib Stadium!
When you are battling for silverware, you need three things. Firstly, you need unbelievable support from your fans, secondly, you need your players to put in great performances and, thirdly, you need your potential match-winning superstars to make the difference.
Against Melbourne Heart, Glory had all three of those in abundance. The crowd of over 12,600 at nib Stadium was in fantastic voice last Sunday and their team reacted.
Despite the game being a largely edgy, scrappy affair, every player to a man did his job. The defense kept a clean sheet, the midfield was tireless and then, of course, there was Shane Smeltz leading the line. What a signing he has proven to be for Perth. Having scored four times to secure third spot the week before, against Melbourne he was the difference between the teams.
A second-half hat-trick left Heart stunned and had The Shed in raptures. With thirty minutes to play, the game was finely balanced, but his strikes in the 65th, 72nd and 92nd minutes gave the Western Australian club its first finals win in eight years.
Having tasted victory, Perth want more of the same this week, but they face a tough opponent in Wellington Phoenix.
Wellington-s participation in the minor semi-final comes thanks to their victory over Sydney FC in a five-goal thriller at Westpac Stadium last Friday night.
After a cagey first-half, the game burst into life in the second period with Tim Brown - eager to prolong his Phoenix career for at least another game - grabbing the opener. When a Ben Sigmund header doubled the home side-s lead with less than 15 minutes to go, it seemed like being a cakewalk for the New Zealanders, but comeback kings Sydney had other ideas and struck two goals in quick succession to draw things level.
It is a sign of the mental strength that Wellington possess that they refused to let their heads drop at this point and, two minutes after the equaliser and with barely five left on the clock, prolific striker Paul Ifill won - and converted - a penalty to send the Fever Zone wild.
The three tussles between the teams in the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season suggest that this will be a close contest. Every game has ended 1-0, with Perth winning home and away, while Wellington-s solitary triumph came in New Zealand. With little to choose between them, it seems like it really will boil down to which talisman will do the business.
Can Shane Smeltz supply the strikes for Perth Glory, or will Paul Ifill inspire a Wellington win? This one looks set to be decided by the tightest margin, so it-s up to the Shed to be Perth-s 12th man with the same kind of noise that helped so greatly in the win over Melbourne Heart.
Get your ticket today and prepare to experience more fantastic finals excitement at nib Stadium. Sing your side to the all-important win!