Melbourne City has seen three points snatched away from them late in the match as they drew 2-2 with Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon.
A double from Jamie Maclaren looked to shake City’s winless run until Joel Chianese and Diego Castro popped up the the final moments of the match to share the spoils at AAMI Park.
With City’s dominance for the majority of the match, Warren Joyce’s men would have felt it was the match that got away against the championship-favourites.
Iacopo La Rocca and Nathaniel Atkinson both moved into our defence with yellow card suspensions to both Ritchie De Laet and Bart Schenkeveld. Dylan Pierias takes La Rocca’s spot on the bench while the rest of our squad remained the same from the 29th edition of the Melbourne Derby.
— Melbourne City FC ?️ (@MelbourneCity) March 3, 2019
A sultry AAMI Park greeted both sides as City looked to get off on the front foot in the opening minutes.
Shay Harrison’s battle with Dino Djulbic shaped up to be a key match up with the Tottenham youngster’s pace proving difficult for the experienced defender to handle.
It was Maclaren thought that would find the opener after 26 minutes as he headed his side into the lead. A pinpoint cross from Scott Jamieson found the attacker’s run behind the defender as he headed past Liam Reddy who was rooted to his spot.
The new signing would double the lead moments later, finding his fifth goal for the club from the spot. Florin Berenguer’s cutback found the trailing hand of Ryan Lowry as referee Alex King pointed to the spot. Maclaren made no mistake with his strike, sending Reddy the wrong way to continue his impressive start in City colours.
The ball was then in Perth’s court to make their way back into the contest and Tony Popovic’s side pushed forward.
The Glory had a penalty shout waved away as Diego Castro poked an effort past Eugene Galekovic, seeing his shot go wide but the goalkeeper collect him in the follow up. Then – on the stroke of half time – Perth had their best chance of the first half to get back into it when Galekovic was called upon once again.
Djulbic’s free header towards the bottom corner saw the City custodian make an incredible stop to deny the visitors a lifeline before the break.
A conservative City returned from the break, looking to maintain their lead as Perth were forced to bring the game to them.
City’s first scare came after 52 minutes as Andy Keogh beat the offside trap inside the penalty area. The striker’s heavy touch saw Galekovic come out to cut the angle as he made the crucial stop.
The hosts then made for a nervous end to the contest as Chianese pegged one back. His free header in the penalty area wrong-footed Galekovic, trickling into the far post to give the visitors hope and their hope became a reality in the final moments of the match.
A long-range Castro strike fizzled and took a slight deflection as Galekovic failed to deal with the effort, seeing the ball and three points fly away into the back of the net.
A draw with the league-leaders at the start of the match was a result the hosts may have settled for but in the circumstance, a disappointing result.
After a week off, City head to Leichhardt Oval to take on Sydney FC on Sunday 17 March, kick-off 7pm