An injury plagued Perth Glory FC has been defeated by Melbourne City 5-1 at AAMI Park tonight. Glory kicked-off the match without influential midfielder Gyorgy Sandor and defensive stalwarts Josh Risdon and Dino Djulbic as well as striker Guyon Fernandez, who've all been sidelined with injuries.
A Sidnei Sciola goal on the stroke of half-time reduced the deficit to 3-1 and gave Glory hope of a comeback but Perth missed too many opportunities which ended up costing it the match.
City opened the scoring in the 6’. City’s Socceroo and man of the match Aaron Mooy, picked out Eric Paartalu who headed down at the back post. The ball deflected off Antony Golec’s thigh and bounced into the net, wrong footing Glory goalkeeper Ante Covic.
Two minutes later Sidnei headed a Nebo Marinkovic cross on goal but City’s 'keeper Thomas Sorensen saved well. Glory had a chance to equalise minutes later after Marinkovic fed Chris Harold with a wonderful through ball but the winger’s shot went too wide.
City registered their second in the 19’ after Mooy fed Connor Chapman who headed home from six yards out.
Despite being two goals down Glory showed grit and determination to fight back.
Glory captain Richard Garcia fired a stunning curling shot forcing Sorensen to parry the ball for a corner; the corner kick found Garcia again but he couldn’t quite capitalise.
Glory’s deficit was extended in the 35’ when Bruno Fornaroli made it 3-0, after a clinical finish from inside the box.
Two minutes from the half-time break, Marinkovic took a free kick 30 metres out which Sciola headed home but the goal was ruled off-side. Michael Thwaite was running into the wall from an off-side position and was deemed to be interfering with play.
However, a minute later, Sciola ran from the goal line to meet a Marinkovic corner and clinically thumped the ball into the back of the net with a strong header.
Despite more half chances in the second half, Glory couldn’t find the back of the net. Kenny Lowe looked to his bench and brought Glory youngster Joe Knowles who marked his A-League debut in the 58’ as a substitute for Chris Harold.
Soon after, Harry Novillo added a fourth for City and then Mooy converted a penalty kick to make it 5-0, after Stefan Mauk was fouled in the in the box by Aryn Williams, who was shown a red card.
Despite the loss, Lowe remained optimistic.
“We created a lot of chances we could have been up one or two but we contributed to the goals as well and you can’t do that..we need to regroup. There’s enough character amongst our group for us to do well” he said.
Glory's Hungarian midfielder Gyorgy Sandor could make his return to the line-up next week after battling an ankle injury for the past three weeks, while the jury is still out for defenders Josh Risdon and Alex Grant.
The team faces Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium, next week.
Glory then returns home to Perth for a massive three game week of football starting December 12.
You can get your tickets HERE.
Red cards: Aryn Williams (Glory)
Yellow cards: City: Retre, Millar, Novillo
Glory: Thwaite, Warren, Williams x 2
Conditions: 15 degrees, clear
Attendance: 5,953 @ AAMI Park
Melbourne City FC: Sorensen (GK), Franjic (Millar 71'), Chapman, Melling, Clisby, Retre (Mauk 80'), Paartalu, Mooy, Gameiro (Williams 64'), Fornaroli, Novillo
Subs: Velaphi (GK), Williams, Mauk, Espindola, Millar
Perth Glory FC: Covic (GK), Warren, Golec, Williams, Ferreira, Thwaite, Marinkovic, Garcia, Castro (Reiners 72'), Sidnei (Oxborrow 88'), Harold (Knowles 57')
Subs: Tyson (GK), Gligor, Oxborrow, Reiners, Knowles