A Jamie Maclaren hat-trick has condemned ten-man Melbourne City FC to a 3-1 defeat in the penultimate round of the Hyundai A-League season at nib Stadium.
City dominated the first half, producing 15 shots on goal in the first stanza, but were denied by a combination of wasteful finishing and a superb display from Glory stopper Danny Vukovic.
The promising first half, which saw City create a plethora of chances, came to a disastrous end as Maclaren struck the opener for the home side against the run of play in the 41st minute before Paulo Retre was harshly given his marching orders, receiving two cautions in the space of a minute.
Aaron Mooy restored parity early in the second half with a sensational free-kick, but Maclaren struck his second just after the hour mark, before wrapping up his treble and all three points for the home with three minutes remaining.
The result brought an end to City’s run of five matches unbeaten (3 wins, 2 draws), but John van’t Schip’s side has officially secured sixth position* on the Hyundai A-League table and will face Adelaide United in the final round of the season next Saturday, confirming finals football in 2015.
With Jacob Melling and Kew Jaliens suspended, Josh Kennedy rested and Safuwan Baharudin missing through injury, van’t Schip was forced to tweak his squad, making three changes to the team which drew with Wellington Phoenix 0-0 last Sunday.
In came Jack Clisby and Paulo Retre at left and right back, respectively, while David Williams was handed a starting berth for the absent Kennedy.
Marc Marino and Stefan Mauk were called into the squad for added depth, with the latter entering the fray as a substitute in the second half, marking his first call-up since featuring in the Melbourne Derby on December 20 last year.
In the early stages of the first half it appeared that it was City’s day, with all the momentum with the visitors. Novillo caused havoc for the Glory’s defence but the Martinique international was thwarted on several occasions by the imperious Vukovic in the Perth goal.
The lively striker was at the centre of most of the action, helping to create 10 chances in the first 20 minutes, but the striker either shot wide or was denied by Vukovic.
Novillo first combined with Mooy to shoot high and wide in the ninth minute, before the energetic front man had a shot from the edge of the box blocked, before the follow-up was kept out by Vukovic.
Three more chances fell to City as Novillo fired a well-worked short corner over the bar, before Germano headed on target and Mooy was slipped through on goal but shot over.
Earlier, Glory had the ball in the net through Irishman Andy Keogh, but the Glory’s top striker had strayed into an offside position, and Richard Garcia struck the woodwork with a low shot under Tando Velpahi.
The chances continue to flow as Williams had two more shots by Vukovic remained a wall in the Perth goal. Three more chances fell to Novillo, before one of the matches’ decsivies moments.
A superb Novillo ball over the Perth defence found Williams, who controlled well with his first touch, but inexplicably shot over when through on goal.
City were made to pay for its missed opportunities, as Perth threatened through Josh Risdon’s excellent curling strike which Velaphi swatted away from the top corner in the 39th minute, before Maclaren made the most of City’s static defending to knock the opener in past Velaphi in the 41st minute.
The match changed further when Paulo Retre was given his marching orders, receiving two yellow cards in the space of a minute for two separate tackles on Perth opponents.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, City came out with the same intensity as the first stanza and were rewarded with a superb goal when Mooy netted from a free-kick.
Impenetrable all afternoon up to the 52nd minute, it took a superbly executed free-kick from Mooy to beat Vukovic from 25 metres.
But Perth threatened almost immediately afterwards when Dino Djulbic shot low, forcing a great reflex save from Velaphi.
Maclaren netted in the 65th minute as Velaphi spilled an effort into the striker’s path from Danny De Silva, and it appeared a long way back from there as City tired with 10 men.
Perth confirmed the result in the 87th minute as Maclaren turned in a low cross past Velaphi.
*City will move to fifth position on the ladder at the conclusion of the 2014/15 season, due to a penalty received from Football Federation Australia.
Sunday, 19 April 2015
Hyundai A-League Round 26
Perth Glory 3 (Jamie Maclaren 41’, 65’, 87′)
Melbourne City FC 1 (Aaron Mooy 52’)
Venue: nib Stadium
Perth Glory: 1. Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 6. Dino DJULBIC, 9. Andy KEOGH, 11. Richard GARCIA ( 4. Riley WOODOCK 88′), 13. Diogo FERREIRA (27. Dragan PALJIC 63’), 15. Jamie MACLAREN, 19. Joshua RISDON, 20. Daniel DE SILVA, 23. Michael THWAITE (C), 25. Mitchell OXBORROW (14. Chris HAROLD 78′), 28. Denis KRAMAR
Substitutes not used: 16. Jack DU NCAN (GK),31. Jacob COLLARD
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Melbourne City FC: 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 4. Connor CHAPMAN, 5. Erik PAARTALU (21. Stefan MAUK 74’), 6. Aaron MOOY, 9. Harry NOVILLO, 10. Robert KOREN (8. Massimo MURDOCCA 70’), 13. Jonatan GERMANO, 15. David WILLIAMS, 18. Paulo RETRE, 22. Jack CLISBY (7. Iain RAMSAY 46’), 24. Patrick KISNORBO (C)
Substitutes not used: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE, 26. Marc MARINO
Yellow cards: Retre 45’, 45’, Chapman 67’
Red cards: Retre 45’