Melbourne City suffered its first defeat of the A-League season as Andy Keogh’s hat-trick handed Perth Glory a 3-2 win at a rain sodden AAMI Park on Friday night.
The Irishman scored a perfect hat-trick – a goal with his left-foot, right-foot and one with his head – to temporarily fire the visitors to the summit of the A-League table.
City twice came from behind in an entertaining contest as Bruno Fornaroli and Fernando Brandan both scored for the second week running, but Keogh proved to be the hero in the 85th minute when he pounced on a moment of indecision in defence to loop the winner over City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.
Head Coach John van’t Schip made a solitary change to the starting line-up which enjoyed a comprehensive Melbourne Derby win, with Anthony Caceres replacing injured marquee man Nicolas Colazo.
Playing in-front of the home faithful for the first time this season, expectation to perform was high for a City outfit looking to build upon its best ever start to an A-League campaign.
Despite heading into the clash unbeaten in the past seven home encounters against its Western Australian opponents, it was the Glory who stamped its authority on the contest right from the first whistle.
A disallowed header from towering midfielder Rostyn Griffiths should have been the warning sign needed to click into gear, but City were punished for a sluggish start as the Glory stunned the home crowd after only seven minutes.
It was a trademark set-piece routine which did the trick for the away side, as Marinkovic’s teasing free-kick found Chris Harold in space at the back post, who squared back for Keogh to tap home inside the six yard box.
The goal sparked an instant reaction as City dominated possession in search for a quick response.
The home side’s first clear opening of the match fell to the feet of Tim Cahill, who nipped in ahead of his marker to blaze a driven cross from Luke Brattan over the crossbar.
A wall of purple was raised in the final third as the Glory defended with numbers behind the ball, denying a rampant City strike force space to conjure up any sort of rhythm in attack.
The visitors were dangerous in transition and posed a threat on the counter attack, with Bouzanis required to parry a shot from Marinkovic out of the near post after a swift break.
City suffered another setback when the electric Bruce Kamau succumbed to a nasty blow to the head in the 36th minute, with Nick Fitzgerald coming on as his replacement.
With a plethora of goal-scoring options in attack, you just felt City could snatch an equaliser in the blink of an eye.
The persistence finally paid off on the stroke of half-time as the trickery of Fornaroli won City a penalty at the expense of Djulbic.
City’s captain made no mistake from the spot, sending Liam Reddy the wrong way with an emphatic finish into the bottom corner to level the scores.
Bouzanis had to be alert to prevent all City’s hard work from being undone with just seconds remaining in the opening half, rushing off his line and standing tall to make a crucial save from the onrushing Keogh.
The goalkeeper was at his best to prevent Keogh from scoring with a superb save immediately after the restart, but couldn’t do enough to keep the Irishman’s header from finding the back of the net as Perth re-took the lead moments later.
City desperately needed a lift to find a way back into the contest, and Brandan duly provided with half an hour remaining.
Brandon Wilson succumbed to some rampant pressing from Fornaroli before Cahill played the Argentine through on goal with a deft pass, who fired home past Reddy with aplomb to level the scores.
The spark was ignited. Brandan had his tail up and was only a whisker away from a stunning second goal with a curling effort which had Reddy well beaten.
But Keogh would have the last laugh just five minutes from time, capitalising from a moment of indecision between Bouzanis and defender Josh Rose with a neat lobbed finish to give the Glory all three points.
Hyundai A-League – Round 3
Friday 21 October
Melbourne City FC 2 (Bruno FORNAROLI 44′ [PEN], Fernando BRANDAN 60′)
Perth Glory 3 (Andy KEOGH 7′ 49′ 85′)
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Alan Milliner
Melbourne City FC: 20. Dean Bouzanis (GK), 2. Manny Muscat, 3. Joshua Rose, 8. Neil Kilkenny, 10. Anthony Caceres (14. Daniel Arzani 78’), 11. Bruce Kamau (12. Nick Fitzgerald 36’), 17. Tim Cahill (6. Osama Malik 72’), 22. Michael Jakobsen, 23. Bruno Fornaroli (c), 26. Luke Brattan, 27. Fernando Brandan
Substitutes not used: 1. Thomas Sorensen (GK), 18. Paulo Retre
Yellow cards: Kilkenny 6′, Rose 57′, Brandan 75′, Fornaroli 80′
Red cards: nil
Perth Glory FC: 33. Liam Reddy (GK), 2. Alex Grant, 3. Marc Warren, 6. Dino Djulbic, 8. Roystn Griffiths, 9. Andy Keogh (Joseph Mills 89’), 10. Nebojsa Mrinkovic, 14. Chris Harold (7. Joel Chianese 76’), 15. Brandon Wilson (24. Milan Smiljanic 62’), 17. Diego Castro, 19. Joshua Risdon
Substitutes not used: 13. Nicolas Feely (GK), 11. Richard Garcia,
Yellow cards: Griffiths 43′, Djulbic 43′, Harold 61′, Grant 69′, Keogh 87′, Reddy 90+2
Red cards: nil