Things have to go horribly wrong for both teams in order to see a goalkeeper step up to the penalty spot during a pivotal shootout, doubly so if the shootout score is only 3-3 at the time. Thanks to Liam Reddy’s heroic performance, though, the A-League’s Perth Glory came out on top after a wild semifinal against Adelaide United that featured six goals in open play.
Perth were actually up 2-0 late in the second half, but a goal by Adelaide in the 81st minute and another in the dying seconds of regulation pushed the game into extra time. Perth took the lead again in the 104th minute through Scott Neville, only to see Adelaide’s Michael Marrone equalize in the 115th with a header that left Reddy flat-footed:
Perth’s goalie more than made up for that moment of helplessness, though. First, he saved three penalties from Adelaide’s Isaias, Baba Diawara, and Nathan Konstandopoulos, before coolly walking up to the spot and blasting home an unstoppable penalty of his own:
Reddy then stepped between the sticks one last time, diving hard to his left to deny Nikola Mileusnic of yet another equalizer, and opening the door for Joel Chianese to score the penalty that sent Perth to their first A-League Grand Final since 2012:
Predictably, the Perth players and fans went nuts after Chianese’s winner:
It’s good to see goalies making headlines for something other than a boner for a change.