ALW Report: Perth 4-3 City

Melbourne City went down 4-3 to Perth Glory after a frantic final 20 minutes saw the contest turned on its head at Macedonia Park.

City was in control for most of the contest before Perth sprung to life in the dying stages to score four late goals and hand City defeat.


Melissa Barbieri returned from her calf injury and slotted straight back in between the sticks for her 100th A-League Women appearance.

Meanwhile, Rhianna Pollicina also returned after missing last week, meaning Sally James and Hannah Wilkinson both shifted to the bench.

Starting XI: 23. Melissa BARBIERI, 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 15. Emma CHECKER (C), 14. Katie BOWEN, 7. Julia GROSSO, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 24. Daniela GALIC, 9. Holly MCNAMARA, 19. Maria Jose ROJAS.

Substitutes: 1. Sally JAMES (GK), 17. Hannah WILKINSON, 21. Isabella ACCARDO, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 25. Darcey MALONE.

What happened?

It was a matter of not if but when for City in front of goal in the first half, racking up chance after chance in the opening 20 minutes of the contest.

With Perth only registering one shot on goal for the whole first half, City controlled possession and the tempo of the game, with the hosts unable to make any meaningful inroads into the contest.

Despite some lovely build-up play, City was unable to find the decisive blow with Perth getting back in numbers and showing plenty of desperation in defence.

All of Perth’s defensive resilience was eventually undone, however, due to an error from goalkeeper Sarah Langman in the 33rd minute.

Langman spilled a regulation ball straight into the path of Rhianna Pollicina, who tapped it home for her seventh goal of the campaign.

City refused to take its foot off the gas, heading into the break in total control at 1-0 although it certainly could have been more.

After starting the second half much like the first, City had the best of the chances in the early stages, McNamara almost latching onto a Pollicina free kick at the back post in the 59th minute.

After City dominated proceedings for so much of the contest, we would then see six goals scored in the final 20 minutes of play.

Out of absolutely nowhere, the game turned on its head, Sadie Lawrence scoring from a Perth corner and Hannah Blake then stunning City with a long-range shot over the head of Barbieri in consecutive minutes.

With the game ramping up and City suddenly behind on the scoreboard, we quickly hit back when Pollicina’s blocked shot fell to Hannah Wilkinson, who became City’s outright all-time A-League Women’s leading goalscorer driving the ball into the back of the net to draw us level once more in the 74th minute.

After Bryleeh Henry had a great chance on goal in the 80th minute, Perth would go down the other end and hit the front again through Hana Lowry.

The chaos continued and City came agonisingly close to equalising once more, the ball somehow kept out by Perth as City continued to ping shot after shot in the box in the 85th minute.

Frustratingly, Perth would once again march downfield and Cyera Hintzen scored to make it 4-2 in the 87th minute.

With nine minutes of stoppage time announced, Julia Grosso found the perfect time to score her first professional goal, tapping it in at the back post to roar City back into the contest at 4-3 in the 91st minute.

As City pushed for a late equaliser, Langden denied Bowen in the 96th minute with a great diving save to see Perth hold on for the win.

What’s next?

City now returns home to face Canberra United at AAMI Park next Sunday, with kick-off set for 5:40pm.