Glory suffered their first defeat of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season on Sunday as goals from Daniel De Silva and Samuel Silvera secured a 2-1 victory for Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park.
Former Glory man De Silva fired the visitors in front after 17 minutes and although Ivan Franjic’s close-range effort subsequently drew Glory level, Samuel Silvera struck what proved to be the winner for Alen Stajcic’s men on the stroke of half time.
The hosts threw everything at the Gosford side as they searched for a way back into the game during the second half, but were ultimately unable to find a way through.
“Obviously we’re disappointed to lose at home,” said Head Coach Tony Popovic.
“We gave it everything in the second half.
“We were not very good in the first half; we acknowledge that.
“But we felt that we still had a lot of time in the second half to put it right.
“It wasn’t to be. We attacked, we were in their box constantly, they [Central Coast Mariners] were desperate in their defending.
“They had something to hold onto and those games are always difficult.
“You need something individual or something to come off a set-play just to break it and get the momentum, but the goal just wouldn’t come.
“The players were off today in the first half collectively and the backline in particular didn’t look as cohesive as it has in the first rounds.
“Credit to Central Coast, they stretched us and we didn’t handle that well or match their intensity in the first half.
“We brought it more together in the second half, but it wasn’t to be.”
While Glory dominated the opening exchanges in terms of possession, it was the Mariners who came closest to scoring when Milan Duric’s fizzing strike struck the foot of Liam Reddy’s right post and De Silva was unable to force the loose ball home.
The former Glory man made amends soon after, however, meeting Jack Clisby’s cut-back with a pinpoint shot that arrowed its way into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
As the visitors continued to threaten, Reddy did well to keep out another effort from the lively De Silva who had profited from a surging Silvera run.
But within 30 seconds of that let-off, Glory were level.
Diego Castro pulled the ball back to the top of the box for his compatriot Juande and although Mark Birighitti parried the midfielder’s left-foot strike, Franjic was on hand to force home the rebound at the near post.
But Glory were stung again on the stroke of half-time when Silvera got away down the left, cut in on goal and rifled a crisp shot past Reddy.
The home side began the second period in purposeful fashion and only a fine reflex save from Birighitti prevented Bruno Fornaroli from sweeping home Neil Kilkenny’s inviting cross.
The Uruguayan striker was again denied by the Perth-born ‘keeper moments later after showing great perseverance to fashion a shooting opportunity in a packed box.
As the half wore on, Glory continued to surge forward and both Fornaroli and substitute Joel Chianese went within centimetres of converting Castro’s low cross in the 70th minute.
Chianese’s header was then claimed by Birighitti before Kilkenny’s goalbound effort was deflected over the bar by a cluster of Mariners defenders
And as the clock ticked down, the men in yellow continued to dig deep en route to securing their first win in the West since 2013 and inflicting what was just Glory’s second home defeat of 2019.
Perth Glory 1 (Franjic 32′) Central Coast Mariners 2 (De Silva 17′, Silvera 45′)
HBF Park, Perth
Referee: Kurt Ams
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern
Fourth Official: Shane Skinner
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH (3.Jacob TRATT 37′), 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM (7.Joel CHIANESE 59′), 13.Osama MALIK (18.Nick D’AGOSTINO 75′), 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 27.JUANDE, 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 6.Dino DJULBIC, , 20.Jake BRIMMER, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC
Yellow cards: Wuthrich
Red cards: None
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 6.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 7.Milan DURIC, 10.Thomas OAR (19.Matthew SIMON 79′), 11.Daniel DE SILVA (4.Eunsun KIM 58′), 15.Kye ROWLES (21.Ruon TONGYIK 74′), 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Samuel SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS
Substitutes not used: 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9.Jordan MURRAY, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 26.Joshua NISBET
Yellow cards: Gordon, Clisby
Red cards: None