Melbourne City suffered a disappointing loss on Friday night, going down 4-2 to Perth Glory at HBF Park.
Tolgay Arslan gave us a 2-1 lead after scores were tied at the break, but two goals in as many minutes gave the hosts the advantage before substitute Joel Anasmo sealed the result in stoppage time.
Aurelio Vidmar made three changes to his XI following last week’s win over Adelaide United.
Nuno Reis came straight back into the line-up after missing two consecutive games while awaiting the birth of his third child.
Harry Politidis made the first start of his professional career, while Andrew Nabbout started for the first time this season after returning from an achilles injury.
Jordon Hall and Ben Mazzeo moved to the bench, but Callum Talbot was out of the matchday squad due to a minor shoulder injury.
Starting XI: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Nuno REIS, 22. Curtis GOOD, 38. Harry POLITIDIS, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 10. Tolgay ARSLAN, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 11. Leo NATEL, 9. Jamie MACLAREN (C).
Substitutes: 33. Patrick BEACH, 7. Mathew LECKIE, 8. James JEGGO, 18. Jordon HALL, 21. Alessandro LOPANE, 37. Max CAPUTO, 46. Ben MAZZEO.
City began the game strongly and it was Andrew Nabbout whipping in a pinpoint cross on his return to the starting lineup, finding Jamie Maclaren who forced a save out of Oli Sail in the fifth minute.
It wasn’t long until Jamie Young was in the thick of things, pulling out an important reflex save at his near post to deny Adam Taggart less than 10 minutes later.
Nabbout then forced a good save as we continued to press for the opener.
The breakthrough would come in the 21st minute when Arslan whipped in a perfect cross that Aleksander Susjnar turned into his own net.
There was a heart-in-mouth moment just minutes later for City fans when boyhood hero Stefan Colakovski drove into the box for Glory, only for Jamie Young to pull out a great stop to deny the 1-on-1 chance.
City looked destined to go into the break ahead – Maclaren going close again in the 36th minute with a well-placed header – but a penalty in the final moments of the first half saw Perth equalise.
City began the second half like a house on fire and it was all about Leo Natel in the 58th minute.
The Brazillian first received from Galloway on the right and forced a great save out of Sail, before striking the post with his follow-up attempt.
Thankfully for City though, a mistake at the back minutes later opened the door for Maclaren to tee up Arslan, who slotted home a cool finish to make it 2-1.
The lead wouldn’t stand for too long though as two quick goals on either side of the 70-minute mark had Perth ahead, seemingly out of nowhere.
Jimmy Jeggo made his City debut and Mathew Leckie returned from injury in the final 20 minutes but neither could spur us on for an equaliser, a late Perth goal making it a disappointing 4-2 result.
We’re back on the road next weekend, set to face Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday evening.