Ikonomidis goal keeps Glory in pole position

Chris Ikonomidis' fifth goal of the season proved enough to propel Glory back to the summit of the Hyundai A-League as Melbourne City were beaten 1-0 at nib Stadium.

The Socceroos attacker found the net just before the break in a hard-fought encounter which saw the visitors reduced to ten men after defender Curtis Good saw red late on.

Glory's victory, their fifth in seven games, ended Melbourne Victory's brief stay in top spot following their win earlier in the day over Adelaide United and Head Coach Tony Popovic was understandably delighted to see his side emerge with the spoils. 

Chris Ikonomidis bags his fifth of the season

"You have to be happy with another three points, another home win," he said.

"It was a tough match and a physical encounter.

"Melbourne City played well. They came out very strong in the first half, but in the second half the game changed and I didn't think we were caused many problems by them.

"I think every side that is challenging at the end [of the season] will be up there because they can win when they're not at their best."

One disappointing note for the men in purple was the loss of Matt Spiranovic whose club debut lasted less than 30 minutes as he was forced off by injury.

But Popovic was optimistic that the central defender has not suffered too major a setback.

"I haven't seen Matt since the game,"he said, "but at the time I was told that it was precautionary because his hamstring tightened up. We're hoping it's nothing serious."

The first-half of the Round 7 clash was a little low on goalmouth incident for long periods,  with the only clear-cut chances falling to Glory's Ivan Franjic, who fired straight at Eugene Galekovic in the City goal and Nathaniel Atkinson, who blazed wastefully over the bar from close-range for the visitors.

But the deadlock was broken in the 43rd minute when Andy Keogh's deflected shot fell kindly for Ikonomidis and he gleefully slammed the ball home before racing off to celebrate in front of a jubilant Shed.

Glory continued to improve as the second half wore on, Castro drawing an acrobatic, one-handed save from Galekovic just after the restart and Ikonomidis also forcing the City 'keeper into action with a shot on the turn.

Tomislav Mrcela then struck the bar with a looping header from a Neil Kilkenny corner, before City's chances of securing anything from the game were all but ended when Good's challenge on Franjic earned him a second yellow ten minutes from time.

Match Details

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season Round 7

Perth Glory 1 (Ikonomidis 43') Melbourne City 0

Half-time: 1-0

Attendance: 8489

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Craig Zetter

Perth Glory:  33.Liam REDDY (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 9.Andy KEOGH, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (6.Dino DJULBIC, 33'), 15.Brandon WILSON (20.Jake BRIMMER 63'), 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO ( 7.Joel CHIANESE,  85'), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 11.Brendon SANTALAB

Yellow cards: Keogh, Castro, Davidson

Red cards: Nil

Melbourne City FC:  18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 3.Scott JAMIESON (c) , 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 8.Riley McGREE, 10.Dario VIDOSIC (7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 71'), 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON (21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 88'), 15.Kearyn BACCUS (17.Anthony CACERES, 71'), 19.Lachlan WALES, 22.Curtis GOOD, 26.Luke BRATTAN

Substitutes not used: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 34.Connor METCALFE

Yellow cards: Good

Red cards: Good 

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