Congratulations to Perth Glory on their Finals victory over Melbourne Heart. In what was an extremely dour game it was the opportunism of the league’s best striker who swung the match in favour of the home side.
Shane Smeltz is currently the A League’s greatest goalscorer and he justified that title and Perth Glory’s investment by stepping up and not only opening the scoring against the run of play, but also scoring two more opportunist goals. His goals were the sort that cannot be coached but showed a true striker’s predatory instinct, and with seven goals in eight days to his name he is high on confidence at the right time.
To have such a player in your side at such a crucial point of the season when teams are conscious not to give any goalscoring opportunities is a massive bonus and could well be the decider in whether Perth Glory can in fact march all the way to the Grand Final.
Many questioned the wisdom of playing Smeltz as a lone striker but ultimately it was the striker’s natural ability to sniff out goals that turned the match rather than any tactics, but a win justifies the means to the end.
While praising Smeltz it would be remiss not to also acknowledge the defence who once again stood tall, with Steve Pantelidis again a rock, not putting a foot wrong. Danny Vukovic kept his tenth clean sheet of the season which also confirms the merit in signing him as first choice ‘keeper.