A-League: Perth Glory battle past Central Coast and Bruno Fornaroli’s controversial injury to win 2-1
Perth Glory have shrugged off Bruno Fornaroli’s controversial absence to claim a 2-1 win over Central Coast and get the A-League Men’s season off the mark.
Aaron McEneff scored the winner as Glory secured a dramatic comeback win in Gosford, despite a strange run-up.
On Friday, coach Ruben Zadkovich hinted that Fornaroli could be left out of his squad after a quiet opening two rounds, following a limited pre-season.
When Perth posted their line-up for Sunday’s game on Instagram, without Fornaroli even on the bench, they commented, saying: “Bruno is out through injury.”
But the Socceroo commented saying “I’m 100% fit and ready @perthgloryfc wrong info.”
The comment was later deleted.
“He was just unavailable,” Zadkovich told reporters after the game.
“He ruled himself out with a rib injury on Friday so he couldn’t complete the last session, which meant he wasn’t available for selection.
“So there’s not really that much going on there.”
Zadkovich said he had not seen Fornaroli’s comment.
“To be honest, I’m not sure (what the situation is). Who knows, social media — his account could have been hacked for all we know,” he said.
“So I can’t really comment, I haven’t seen those comments, but all I know is I picked a team that was available and they went out and did the job.”
The Glory coach would not be drawn on Fornaroli’s future.
“He has set a hell of a goalscoring record in the league and like all the boys he is extremely valuable to our club,” he said.
“But as I say, the focus is not on him at the moment.”
Zadkovich was pleased with how Perth came back, then held on in a late wave of naval attacks.
“We showed a lot of character, first and foremost,” Zadkovich said.
“I keep talking about it, but the belief and resilience of the group is showing at the moment to face this little bit of adversity that we have at the start of the season.
“The boys have been tremendous in the three games, although the performance is nowhere near what we want.”
The Mariners drew first blood when Sam Silvera poked the ball into the right corner in the 21st minute.
After being denied a handball penalty in the 34th, Glory broke through two minutes before the break.
Ben Azubel’s diving header produced a brilliant one-handed save from Danny Vukovic, but Giordano Colli reacted quickest amid a static Mariners defense to bury the rebound.
In the 56th minute, Central Coast failed to clear the lines and McEneff went around Vukovic and side-footed the winner.
“Disappointing — we knew they were coming: nothing to lose, no pressure on them, and I just felt today that we didn’t find the rhythm that I expected and we expect,” Mariners coach Nick Montgomery told reporters.
“We didn’t create enough chances and we gave away two bad goals, sloppy reactions to both goals.”
Garang Kuol came off the bench on his return from Young Socceroos duties in Kuwait but was unable to break through.
Montgomery confirmed that Kuol had been dealing with jet lag.