Dadi does it again

Eugene Dadi has continued Melbourne’s miserable recent record in Perth, scoring a brace as the Glory upset Victory 3-2 at Members Equity Stadium.

Eugene Dadi has continued Melbourne’s miserable recent record in Perth, scoring a brace as the Glory upset Victory 3-2 at Members Equity Stadium.

Dadi, who scored two goals the last time these teams met, provided the 76th-minute winner in a pulsating match which either side could have won. Melbourne had firm control of the early part of the game courtesy of a third-minute goal from Danny Allsopp, but Perth hit back to lead at half time thanks to goals from Dadi and Nikita Rukavystya.

When Melbourne drew level just after the half time, it looked like the visitors had the momentum to record a fourth-straight win, but the Glory created an opening from a free kick and Dadi slotted his tenth goal of the season to take all three points, stretching Melbourne’s winless run in Perth to four.

The loss is a setback for Melbourne in its quest for the Hyundai A-League premiership with Victory now trailing top-of-the-table Adelaide by one point and the Reds having a game in hand against third-placed Queensland, which is just three points behind Melbourne.

Melbourne was completely dominant in the first 15 minutes of the match and could have been 3-0 up. Allsopp converted the first chance, profiting from an error from Nikolai Topor-Stanley. The Perth defender was dispossessed by Archie Thompson who then delivered a pin-point pass on the turn. Allsopp had no trouble beating a static Jason Petkovic.

Soon after Carlos Hernandez found himself in a similar position, but his shot was cleared off the line by Scott Neville while Allsopp hit the post, having beaten Petkovic again and then Thompson skied the rebound.

The game turned on its head after the players took a drinks break at the 22-minute mark. Adriano Pellegrino hammered a long effort into the bar, while Rukavytsya fired wide when one-on-one with Michael Theoklitos.

Perth was creating enormous pressure and on the half hour, Melbourne’s resistance was broken when Dadi rose highest from Pellegrino’s corner to beat Theoklitos at the near post.

Within four minutes, Perth was ahead when Viktor Sikora’s pressure caused Rody Vargas to turn the ball over allowing Rukavytsya to seize the ball and this time find the target with his effort.

Theoklitos was the only reason Perth wasn’t further in front at the break, thwarting another Dadi header on 37 minutes and then keeping out a Rukavytsya rocket just before half time.

Ney Fabiano was brought on for Hernandez at the break and it proved an inspired move as the Brazilian seized on a fumble from Petkovic from a Billy Celeski free kick to score from close range on 48 minutes.

Thompson and Ney Fabiano both wasted chances before Grant Brebner replaced Danny Allsopp on the hour. Ney Fabiano toed another effort wide midway through the half.

Perth’s winner came against the run of play on 76 minutes after Naum Sekulovski whipped in a low free kick and Dadi got into space to convert to make it 3-2.

Melbourne’s efforts to get a point out of the match came to nothing and to add further hurt, Matthew Kemp was sent off for a second yellow card in the final minutes.

Perth Glory 3 (Dadi 31, 76, Rukavytsya 76)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Allsopp 3, Ney Fabiano 48)
Crowd: 9,381 at Members Equity Stadium