Melbourne City FC maintained its unbeaten start to the Foxtel Y-League season with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Perth Glory at the City Football Academy on Saturday afternoon.
A stunning free-kick from Denis Genreau and poacher’s effort from substitute Marko Delic completed a second-half turnaround for Joe Palatsides side, who showed superb mental strength and character to overturn Henry Hore’s opener and continue its unbeaten start to the campaign.
City entered Saturday’s clash with a much-changed line-up, with a mixture of senior promotions and injuries forcing Head Coach Joe Palatsides to make six alterations to the starting team which swept aside Melbourne Victory 9-2 in the Derby last weekend.
The inclusion of Neil Kilkenny brought an element of composure and calmness in the heart of the City defence, who had to combat a positive start from a Glory side searching for their first win of the campaign.
The visitors could have opened the scoring inside the opening minute when striker Choc Dau found space inside the penalty area, but his goal-bound effort was denied smartly by the legs of City goalkeeper Yaren Sozer.
It set the tone for a physical first half, with both teams offering the occasional threat but niggly fouls often broke up the rhythm of play.
It was City’s two youngest players who had chances to open the scoring, with Gianluca Iannucci first testing Glory ‘keeper Jackson Lee with an effort from range, before defender Mitch Graham glanced a towering header wide from Josh Cavallo’s corner.
Perth came close to snatching the lead late in the first-half as Sozer had to be at his best to tip over a stinging drive from Jack Leech, before City dodged a bullet seconds before the interval when Callum Timmins’s fierce strike cannoned off the goalkeeper’s left-post.
City started well after the break, with Anthony Lesiotis seeing a thunderous effort blocked by Perth defender Riley Warland, before Kilkenny saw a long-range effort drift just wide of the goal face.
It was the Glory, however, who took the lead in the 57th minute against the run of play. A low cross from the right-hand side from Yagoub Mustafa was met by Hore, who turned home past Sozer from close range to put the visitors ahead.
City continued to threaten in the final third and found the equaliser in stunning fashion through captain Generau. Perth defender Leech was shown a yellow card after bringing down the electric Lucas Derrick on the edge of the area.
Up stepped Genreau, who, in similar fashion to Braedyn Crowley last week, curled a sensational effort into the top corner to level the scores.
Just five minutes later, the turnaround was complete, as substitute Delic pounced on a loose clearance from Lee to fire into an empty net to fire City to an important three points.
Foxtel Y-League – Round 4
Saturday 9 December 2017
Melbourne City FC 2 (Denis GENREAU 73′, Marko DELIC 79′)
Perth Glory 1 (Henry HORE 57′)