Glory star ‘front and centre’ in Socceroos conversation: ‘He’s just sent a message loud and clear’

Does a Socceroos re-call beckon for Adam Taggart? Well the Perth Glory captain sent a message to Graham Arnold with his two-goal haul in Saturday night’s 3-2 thriller against Brisbane Roar.

Taggart bagged a double at HBF Park, where the Glory overturned a 2-1 deficit to upstage the Roar thanks to Stefan Colakovski’s winner 12 minutes from the end which capped an exciting week that saw the Pelligra Group purchase the A-Leagues club.

A 16-time Australia international, Taggart has not played for the Socceroos since September 2022 but having moved within one goal of a share of the Golden Boot lead after taking his 2023-24 tally to 12, talk is mounting regarding a return to the national team.

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The Socceroos are set to meet Lebanon in a 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup qualifier next month.

“Taggart’s form and a prospective Socceroos re-call… his own personal forms means that is front and centre in the national team conversation,” Paramount+ commentator Teo Pellizzeri said during the match.

Phil Moss added: “You can’t deny that. He’s just sent a message to Graham Arnold loud and clear.

“Via email, carrier pigeon, you name it, whatever means there is to send memos, they’re finding their way to Arnold’s selection committee ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

“But it’s not just his goals either. It’s his mobility, his back to goal and bringing midfielders into the game.”

With the result, Perth extended their unbeaten run to five matches in the Isuzu UTE A-League as they moved within six points of the top six. Eighth-placed Brisbane, meanwhile, were left four points outside of the finals places.

Perth entered the contest having scored 32 goals this season, the joint-most of any team and 5.1 higher than their Expected Goals. In fact, only leaders Wellington Phoenix (+5.2) had outpaced their xG by more than the Glory (+5.1) in 2023-24.

The Glory struck first at HBF Park, where former Perth star Keegan Jelacic – on loan at Brisbane – was booed on his return to Western Australia.

While Brisbane controlled the ball, Taggart’s pin-point header from close range gave the home side a 24th-minute lead.

“Who else but captain marvellous?,” asked Paramount+ co-commentator Phil Moss. “He is never going to miss from there.”

The Roar reacted well as Nicolas Mileusnic headed just over the crossbar, but the Brisbane forward was not to be denied a minute later.

It is a moment of individual brilliance as his terrific first touch brought the ball down before turning and firing into the back of the net approaching the half-hour mark.

Brisbane flipped the match on its head in the 36th minute when Thomas Waddingham saw his shot trickle over the line. The teenager saw his first shot kept out but his follow-up effort made it into the back of the net.

The Glory almost went into half-time on level terms, however, Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke made a fine save to frustrate the hosts.

Freke produced another excellent save seven minutes into the second half to keep out Riley Warland and the Roar shot-stopper was it again on the hour, somehow saving Daniel Bennie’s goal-bound effort.

Perth finally found a way past Freke after Taggart sliced a shot with the outside of his boot into the back of the net 16 minutes from the end but it was a moment inspired by Joel Anasmo’s gliding run into the penalty area.

Brisbane then were left to rue “football suicide” when a pass across penalty box went straight to Perth and ended with substitute Colakovski scoring in the 78th minute.