Perth Glory went down 5-4 in a chaotic, record breaking, goal frenzy against Western United at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong today.
An astonishing eight goals were scored in a breathless second-half, the most scored in a second-half in A-League history, as Glory fell just short.
It followed Glory’s 5-3 goal-fest win last Wednesday over Adelaide United.
Glory looked down and out after being dominated in the first half and were lucky to be only be one goal behind at the break.
They lacked energy after a quick turnaround with just a day of recovery after the Adelaide game before flying to Victoria on Friday.
They could not stop United’s attack and the home side capitalised with an early goal from Victor Sanchez.
But a see-sawing second half of madness brought a flurry of goals as Glory’s energy returned.
United lost their half-time lead, recovered it, and lost it twice again.
After being forced to defend the entire first-half substitute Carlo Armiento and Bruno Fornaroli gave Glory the lead.
They were still celebrating when Dylan Pierias scored a double after coming off the bench.
But the goalfest was still not over.
Nick D’Agostino headed home a Kilkenny free kick, Tomoki Imai hit United’s fourth, a second from Armiento brought the scores level again before Steven Lustica hit the winner.
Glory coach Richard Garcia said it was a crazy game and blamed fatigue for the result.
“The little things that went wrong came from our fatigue. When you get fatigued decisions become harder,” he said.
“It’s pleasing that the boys reacted after a sluggish first half.
“We looked flat first-half. That’s understandable.
“We’ve got young bodies who probably aren’t used to the rigours of playing twice in three days.
“To back up after three days is difficult but it’s part of their education.”
Garcia said while defence obviously needs a shake-up he’s happy to be scoring goals.
“If we score more goals than the other team it doesn’t make a difference,” he said.
“As a young group it’s fantastic learning curve to be able to react when the game’s in the balance like it was in the second half.”
Glory had just 39 per cent possession at the break and spent most of the first 45 minutes chasing United’s front-runners.
They were left to scramble as United found holes in their defence and found difficulty dealing with balls behind.
United had numerous chances to stretch their lead while Glory were restricted to long range efforts.
With a busy schedule ahead Garcia rotated his side and the changes brought a new complexion to the game and goals came in a rush.