Perth Glory has weathered an all-out assault from third-placed Wellington Phoenix to send the side back across the ditch with a 1-0 win in the first game of the A-League finals.
The Glory – who scraped into the post-season by one point over Adelaide United – downed the Phoenix at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday courtesy of a first-half strike by the departing Joel Chianese.
Chianese assured his career at Perth will continue for at least one more match before he leaves at the end of the season for Indian Super League club Hyderabad FC.
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He pounced on a through-ball from Jake Brimmer and cooly finished from the edge of the penalty box in the 19th minute.
That proved to be the winning goal as the Phoenix amassed more than 30 shots and 65 per cent possession but to no avail as it was held scoreless.
Phoenix exits the A-League bubble empty-handed despite claiming the highest regular season finish in club history.
The Glory will now face Sydney FC on Wednesday night for a spot in next Sunday’s Grand Final.
Meanwhile, the finals continue on Sunday with the second elimination final between newcomers Western United and Brisbane Roar.