A depleted Glory side was edged out 1-0 by Western Sydney Wanderers at COMMBank Stadium on Wednesday evening, with Jack Rodwell’s first-half strike proving enough to secure all three points for the hosts.
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Missing five of the players that started the win over Sydney FC ten days before, the visitors faced an uphill battle in their search for a victory which would have moved them to within three points of the top six.
The multiple absentees, however, provided opportunities for WA youngsters Giordano Colli and Jacob Young, the former making a first A-League start and the latter debuting off the bench and both acquitted themselves well in what was a keenly-contested encounter.
And while Glory were unable to create many clear-cut chances after Adrian Sardinero missed a fine opportunity early on, Head Coach Richard Garcia felt that his charges performed well under the circumstances.
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“There were very encouraging signs,” he said.
“We had two debutants tonight, two young WA boys… who did very well, I thought.
“It’s always going to be difficult when you’ve got five of your starters out from the last game after they performed so well.
“I thought there were some really good patches in the game where the guys kept the ball really well, but we just lacked that little bit of killer instinct in the final third.
“That’s something we can learn from and take into Sunday.”
11 minutes were on the clock when what proved to be Glory’s best chance of the game came and went.
Antonee Burke-Gilroy was the provider, racing away down the right and delivering a low cross into the path of Sardinero who was unable to get enough power or direction into his shot to trouble fellow-Spaniard Tomas Mejias in the home goal.
Garcia’s side were left to rue that miss midway through the first half when Thomas Aquilani picked out Rodwell just inside the box and the English import calmly picked out the bottom corner of Cameron Cook’s net.
Burke-Gilroy did send a powerful shot straight into Meijas’ midriff with what was very nearly the last kick of the first half, but after the break, it was Wanderers who generally looked the more threatening.
Kejiro Ogawa was unable to hit the target from a tight angle having been played in on goal by James Troisi, before Rodwell lashed a shot into the side-netting and Aquilani blazed over the bar after cutting in from the left.
Seeking to preserve their narrow lead and hand new Head Coach Mark Rudan a winning start to his tenure, Wanderers looked edgy in the final ten minutes, but despite the best efforts of lively substitutes Pacifique Niyongabire and Daniel Stynes, the men in teal were ultimately unable to find a way through.
Glory return to action on Sunday by taking on Melbourne City at AAMI Park.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Rodwell 26′) Perth Glory 0
Referee: Alireza Faghani
Western Sydney Wanderers: 20.Tomas MEJIAS (GK), 2.Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Adama TRAORE ( 13.Tate RUSSELL 87′), 5.Jack RODWELL, 8.Steven UGARKOVIC, 10.Tomer HEMED ( 9.Bernie IBINI-ISEI 61′), 11.Kejiro OGAWA ( 23.Dimitri PETRATOS 80′), 14.James TROISI ( 36.Alessandro LOPANE 87′), 17.Keanu BACCUS, 22.John KOUTROUMBIS, 39.Thomas AQUILINA
Substitutes not used: 1.Daniel MARGUSH, 6.Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, 29.Terry ANTONIS
Yellow Cards: Ibini, Gordon
Red Cards: None
Perth Glory: 12.Cameron COOK (GK), 5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS (2.Aaron CALVER 58′), 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Adrian SARDINERO, 8.Kosuke OTA ( 25.Jacob YOUNG 82′), 10.Andy KE0GH (C),(24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE 67′), 19.Callum TIMMINS, 21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 22.Josh RAWLINS, 26.Giordano COLLI ( 18.Daniel STYNES 58′), 29.Darryl LACHMAN
Substitutes not used: 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 16.Darko STANOJEVIC
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None