Sunday, 22 December 2013 8:14 PM
Perth’s tumultuous week continued on Sunday when winger Ryo Nagai was injured in an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Adelaide United at nib Stadium.
Nagai had to be carried from the field after injuring his hamstring in the 72nd minute as both sides desperately searched for a late winner to keep their A-League seasons alive.
The Japanese ace joins a long injury list in Perth that includes marquee signing William Gallas (calf), Shane Smeltz (ankle), Travis Dodd (knee) and Scott Jamieson (achilles).
It is a further blow for the Glory at the end of a week in which the club sacked coach Alistair Edwards amid a bitter feud with captain Jacob Burns and other senior players.
Burns, who confronted Edwards after last week’s 2-0 loss to the Melbourne Victory over the perceived nepotism towards Edwards’ sons Ryan and Cameron, was booed by a small section of the crowd at the start of the match.
But those jeers became cheers in the 70th minute when the 35-year-old former Socceroo made a match-saving tackle as Reds midfielder Marcelo Carrusca closed in on what appeared a certain goal.
Carrusca was the player who looked most likely to break the deadlock through the match and his best chance came when he was about to shoot on goal from close range with 20 minutes left on the clock.
However, a desperate Burns, who was reinstated to the starting line-up by interim coach Kenny Lowe after being controversially left on the bench by Edwards last week, came in from the side and blocked the attempt to effectively salvage a point for the struggling Glory.
Cameron Edwards also started and played 54 minutes before being subbed off, but his younger brother Ryan was left out of the squad altogether after failing to overcome a bout of gastro during the week.
Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic and Perth counterpart Danny Vukovic were never seriously troubled during a dull encounter played out in front of 9436 people.
Carrusca kept Vukovic on his toes with two ambitious attempts from outside the box, while the dangerous Jeronimo Neumann put some heat on the Glory gloveman on the cusp of half-time.
Glory youngster Jamie Maclaren was gifted several chances to challenge Galekovic, but was either unable to connect or closed down quickly by Adelaide’s defence.
Reds coach Josep Gombau surprisingly started Sergio Cirio on the bench despite the Spaniard’s strong performance in last week’s 4-0 win over Central Coast.
Cirio provided some spark, as did Glory winger Sidnei in his first game back from a hamstring injury, but neither were able to produce the magic required to find a winner.
<b>Perth Glory 0</b>
<b>Adelaide United 0</b>
Crowd: 9436 at nib Stadium