PREPARATION for Sunday night’s A-League semi-final between Melbourne City and Perth at AAMI Park will be as much mental as it will be physical.
Having defeated City 5-4 in a crazy season-ender at nib Stadium on Sunday night, the Glory must like their chances of coming to Melbourne and repeating the dose.
Likewise City, whose season has fallen in a heap since winning the FFA Cup in November, must now possess some doubt about their capacity to defeat the Glory having been made to look second-rate at times on Sunday.
Sunday’s game resembled two amateur FIFA video gamers going at each other in ultra-attacking mode.
Perth needed to win by four goals to jump City on the ladder and secure a home final.
City needed to win to go back above Brisbane in to third and all but secure a qualification berth in to next year’s Asian Champions League.
There is no way a sudden death final will be played in the same way.
Then again, the three games between City and the Glory this season have produced a staggering 20 goals.
A different venue could also produce a different outcome.
City is 7-3-3 at AAMI Park this year, the Glory 2-6-5 away from nib.
However, Perth beat City 3-2 at AAMI in Round 3 before the teams drew 3-3 in Round 12.
How much these factors play on the minds of the combatants remains to be seen.
Indeed, how much ’s goalfest – which tied the record for most goals in an A-League game – stays relevant this week is also another pertinent question.
If nothing else both attacks will fancy their chances of filling their boots as both defences can only be described as brittle.
Diego Castro scored a fifth minute penalty before Tim Cahill levelled the scores with his 10th goal of the season in the 21st.
Perth jumped to a 4-1 lead by the 75th minute via goals from Andy Keogh, Chris Harold and Nebo Marinkovic and all of a sudden the Glory looked capable of getting the four-goal win they needed.
But in chasing goals they were also vulnerable at the back, a frailty that first Cahill and then Nicolas Colazo exploited to make it 4-3 before Adam Taggart and Nick Fitzgerald traded late goals.
Marinkovic fires freakish FK0:59
A-League: Neboja Marinkovic has nailed a stunning free kick against Melbourne City.
Originally published as City-Glory deliver mouth-watering preview
SOURCE: newsnow sport