10-man Sydney withstand Glory siege to grab ALM draw

Perth Glory's finals hopes have been officially ended with a 1-1 draw against 10-man Sydney FC at HBF Park, after the hosts were unable to add to Kaelan Majekodunmi’s equaliser despite pounding on the Sky Blue door. 

After Joe Lolley put them ahead from the spot at HBF Park on Wednesday evening, Jake Girdwood-Reich’s 34th-minute red card forced Sydney to withstand a siege on their goal for almost an hour., 

Though Adam Taggart did everything but score in his desperate attempts to find an equaliser, Majekodunmi’s 72nd-minute header from a Riley Warland free kick was the only time the hosts broke through.

“We created so many half chances and shots on goal and unfortunately they didn't go in,” Glory boss Alen Stajcic told Paramount. 

“You felt like if we've got one more, we’d have got a couple.” 

Sydney moved into fourth with their point but Glory’s finals hopes are now officially extinguished, 12 points back of sixth-placed Western Sydney with four games to play, but with five fewer wins.  

“Disappointed that we conceded from a set piece,” Sydney coach Ufuk Talay said.

“Overall we had 10 men for maybe over an hour through the game, we're still satisfied with the one point"

Finishing the game with 13 shots, Taggart should have had his side ahead after 10 minutes, only for Bruce Kamau’s attempted cross for the Socceroo to land just a half-yard behind his stride. 

Sydney took advantage of their reprieve and created a series of chances before eventually landing a telling blow in the 25th minute when Kamau brought down Jordan Courtney-Perkins in the box following some slick interplay, with Lolley making no mistake. 

But the game soon turned on its head just when Girdwood-Reich dragged Taggart down as the two pursued a long ball over the top. 

Referee Alex King initially awarded the young defender a yellow card but upgraded that to a straight red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity after consulting the VAR. 

Glory pressed hard to capitalise on their one-player advantage and thought they had a penalty themselves in the 54th when substitute Jarrod Carluccio was brought down by Rhyan Grant, only for King to stick with his initial decision to wave the shout away despite VAR intervention.

A tide of chances flowed as the hosts pushed an exhausted Sydney but it was 20-year-old Majekodunmi who ultimately found the net, restoring parity when he soared over Courtney-Perkins.

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