Melbourne City credits 'nutcase' Dino Djulbic for Perth's elimination final win
Melbourne City defender Michael Jakobsen and manager Michael Valkanis have both singled out Dino Djulbic as Perth Glory's elimination final matchwinner.
The veteran defender was a major difference between the two sides, putting in an inspired shift at the heart of Perth's defence at AAMI Park.
He was disciplined, subduing star City man Bruno Fornaroli in Glory's 2-0 win.
He was poised, switching to mark Tim Cahill -- the competition's most deadly aerial threat -- at set pieces.
And he was crazy-brave, exemplified by his second-half block of Jakobsen's shot.
The Danish defender sent a rocket towards goal and Djulbic threw his head in harm's way to stop the shot.
"He's a nutcase," Jakobsen said after the match, "putting his head there."
"That's what you want to have in your team. People that sacrifice. Even if it hits you in the head or somewhere else where it hurts.
"[Perth] put that effort in today and we were not quite there."
Djulbic's efforts didn't go unnoticed by City boss Valkanis either.
"Djulbic prides himself on blocking goals. We probably didn't have any shots on target because he probably blocked three or four," Valkanis said.
"That's the difference."
The 34-year-old centre-back -- in his second stint with the club after initially joining in 2007 -- says the challenge of taking on the best drove him.
"You want to play every week against players like that," Djulbic said.
"It brings the best out of me. With Lucian [Goian] next to me as well, we're building a good partnership."
Djulbic hailed the win as a special one for Perth, who hadn't won a final since their run to the 2012 Grand Final.
He isn't talking down the challenge the club will face against Sydney FC in their semifinal on Saturday but says Glory will be ready.
"We're buzzing. We go to Sydney next week and it's onwards," Djulbic said.
"It will be a totally different game. They're very well organised ... we will have to be cautious.
"They're the best team in the comp. That's obvious.
"But it's one game and anything can happen in one game.
"We wanted to go one better last year. Now we have and we've got the confidence that we can go all the way."