2018/19 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Diego Castro (35')
  • Andy Keogh (70')

Perth victory over Adelaide extends lead to nine points

Mark Brake/Getty Images

Diego Castro and Andy Keogh scored as Perth Glory secured a 2-0 away win at Adelaide United to continue their march towards the Premiers Plate.

Castro's deflected first-half strike was followed by substitute Keogh's clinical second-half finish at Coopers Stadium on Friday.

Perth's comprehensive triumph extends their lead at the top of the table to nine points ahead of weekend games.

But fifth-placed Adelaide, now five games without a win, could slip to sixth by the end of the round, with their finals place in peril.

The Reds were bossed by the Glory, who made them pay for two blunders.

Castro rewarded Perth's dominance in the 35th minute, though with a dose of fortune.

A sloppy clearance from Adelaide goalkeeper Paul Izzo went straight to Perth's Ivan Franjic, who found Castro and his effort deflected off United defender Scott Galloway and into the net.

Perth, with a fluency befitting a team with just one loss in 22 rounds, could have led by more at the break but Izzo denied Chris Ikonomidis and Joel Chianese with diving saves.

Adelaide introduced Nikola Mileusnic, making a return from a month-long injury absence, after the break, Danish signing Ken Ilso soon following as they tried to threaten the visitors.

But their fate was sealed in the 70th minute when captain Isaias saw his long, sideways pass was smartly intercepted by Keogh, who raced forward and fired in his 13th goal of the campaign.

Perth coach Tony Popovic warned that talk of a certain Premiers Plate was premature. "The reality is it's not done," he said. "But the consistency is really down to the players.

"They showed these type of performances early in the season as well. They have been able to consistently produce that and, I feel, improve along the way."

Adelaide coach Marco Kurz added that, despite his side's poor run, he still had belief and trust in the players.