Popovic backs Glory spirit against Sydney

Perth Glory will need all their trademark resilience to overcome premiers Sydney FC in their semi-final but Tony Popovic says his side is capable of just that.

TONY POPOVIC.
 TONY POPOVIC. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Perth Glory have set up a grand-final rematch against Sydney FC in the A-League semi-final on Wednesday after a backs-to-the-wall 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in Saturday's elimination final.

A lone first-half goal from Joel Chianese proved enough for an unlikely win and Glory coach Tony Popovic believes his side has enough character to reprise their performance against the Sky Blues, despite a heavy recent schedule and a four-day turnaround.

The Glory lost on penalties against Sydney FC in a heartbreaking finale to last season after 120 scoreless minutes in Perth.

The Glory drew 0-0 against the Sky Blues in their final match before the mid-season break, but they won just one of five matches before edging past the New Zealanders at Parramatta Stadium.

"We are a game away from the grand final, we will give it everything we have and we know we are a chance," said Popovic.

"We know we will definitely be in this match and we know we can win. Our goal is to win the grand final, I have said that all along even after every defeat.

"We expect these kind of games to be on a knifes-edge, that is what finals football is and is what one-off games are.

"You have to beat the best to win the championship, and they have been the best this year, so we know what we are up against but we know we can beat them."

The Glory went into Saturday's elimination final in mixed form at best, having conceded 14 goals in five matches in a run that yielded just one win.

Chianese's goal on 18 minutes allowed the Glory to dig in and display their resilience as the Phoenix threw everything at their opponents.

"It is everything you could ask for in a finals match," Popovic said.

"What they showed today might have surprised some people, but it didn't surprise us (within the squad)."

The Phoenix completely dominated possession and goalscoring attempts but a lack of cutting edge in front of goal proved their undoing.

The Glory enjoyed some positive moments in attack, especially on the counter-attack, but Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay was left to rue missed opportunities.

It was a frustrating end for the Phoenix who enjoyed a best-ever season by finishing third.

The New Zealanders had been forced to spend nine weeks in Sydney to complete their season.

"We created more than enough opportunities to win, but if we are not clinical in front of goal we can't win games," said Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay.

"We can make a lot of excuses about the hub but people do need to acknowledge what Wellington Phoenix has done to help keep this season going."