Perth Glory rounded off their Foxtel Y-League season with an impressive 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium on Sunday.
With hot temperatures expected in the Victorian capital, the game kick off at 6.30am WA time, but the early start clearly didn’t affect the Glory youngsters as Yagoub Mustafa put them ahead on 35 minutes.
Victory defender Cameron McGilp then turned Ollie Annis’ cross into his own net to double the visitors' advantage and although the home side pulled one back almost immediately via a penalty from Christian Theoharous, Annis made sure of the points when he curled home direct from a corner with 17 minutes left.
“We fought really hard and all the hard work paid off," said Mustafa.
"It was really hot, but we’re used to the heat, so it was easier for us to play because they were struggling. It was a great result and I’m proud of the boys for putting in a good shift and ending the season with 3-1 win.”
Head Coach John Gibson, meanwhile, was understandably thrilled that his charges had been rewarded for their efforts on the day.
“It was another consistent, mature away performance," he said, "and overall, I'm pretty happy with playing group
“It was tough out their today and the conditions were extreme, but we are used to it and we’ve worked hard all season and it was nice that we got what we deserved today.
“We have ended the season well, unbeaten in our last four games, with three wins and have moved up to third in the Conference."
Gibson went on, however, to reveal that his players were a touch disappointed with their season overall.
“The group has consistently improved over the course of the season and it's a pity it’s over now," he said.
"We are pretty sombre because we’ve confidence in our group and had set a goal of winning the Conference and playing in the Grand Final next weekend against WSW.
“It’s the first season for a majority of this group in this competition and despite a poor start to the Youth League campaign, we have been delighted with the way they have developed and improved. Now we rest up before we take on the NPL.”
The home side went close early, but Nicholas Sette and Theoharous were both unable to beat Jackson Lee and on 35 minutes, Glory showed them how to do it.
Walter Scott picked out Daniel Stynes in the middle of the park and he laid the ball into the path of Mustafa who eased past a couple of defenders before finishing clinically from the edge of the penalty area.
Glory duly doubled their lead two minutes later when a switch of play by Henry Hore sent Stynes down the flank, he squared the ball to Annis and his shot deflected off the unfortunate McGilp, giving Matthew Sutton no chance in the Victory goal.
But two minutes later Victory were back in the game. Theoharous fell under the challenge of Luke Bodnar, the referee pointed to the spot and Theoharous picked himself up to find the net.
Following the break, Glory continued to take the game to their hosts and Victory 'keeper Sutton produced a couple of fine saves to prevent them going further ahead.
Second-half substitute Trent Ostler almost made an immediate impact on the hour when he eased past his marker on the right and whipped in a dangerous cross to Chok Dau, but the striker failed to beat Sutton.
But on 75 minutes Glory's third goal did arrive when Annis’ in-swinging corner flew over Sutton to ensure that Gibson's side would end their Foxtel Y-League season on a high.
Foxtel Y-League 2017/18 Round 10
Melbourne Victory 1 (Christian Theoharous 39' pen)
Perth Glory 3 (Yagoub Mustafa 35', Cameron McGilp 37' og, Oliver Annis 73')
Melbourne Victory: GK Matthew SUTTON, 2 Jonathan VAKIRTZIS (C), 7 Nicholas SETTE, 8 Cameron MCGLIP (5 Joshua KELIC 61’), 9 Pierce WARING, 10 Joshua HOPE, 11 Christian THEOHAROUS, 12 James DONACHIE (4 Benjamin CARRIGAN 45’), 14 Thiel IRADUKUNDA (6 Brady Quinn 71’), 16 Andrew VISCIGLIO, 19 Birkan KIRDAR
Substitutes not sued: RGK Stephen HATZIKOURTIS
Yellow Cards: Iradukunda 20’, Theoharous 57’
Perth Glory: GK Jackson LEE, 2 Luke BODNAR, 3 Hayden STEVENS (C), 4 Walter SCOTT, 5 Ollie ANNIS, 6 Callum TIMMINS, 7 Daniel STYNES (13 Trent OSTLER 58’), 8 Jack LEECH, 9 Chok DAU (Michael DOMFEH 84’), 10 Henry HORE (12 Michael McDOUGALL 69’) 11 Yagoub MUSTAFA
Substitutes not used: RGK Kyle McDonald
Yellow Cards: Timmins 28’, Leech 66’, Annis 90+5’