Gutsy Glory edged out by league leaders

Glory produced an impressive performance to take Melbourne City the distance at AAMI Park on Tuesday evening, with the league leaders requiring a contentious second-half penalty from Emina Ekic to secure a 1-0 victory.

View the match highlights HERE.

In what proved to be the pivotal moment of the game, Kim Carroll was adjudged to have body-checked City substitute Rhianna Pollicina on the hour-mark and American forward Ekic calmly stroked home from the spot.

But Glory reacted well to the setback and were unfortunate not to claim a share of the spoils in the latter stages as Cyera Hintzen and substitute Demi Koulizakis both went close.

Unsurprisingly, Head Coach Epakis was very proud of the way his side went about their business against a City side which has lost just once this term.

“It was a very hard-fought performance and we defended very resolutely against some of the best attacking threats in the competition,” he said.

“We’re disappointed to have been undone by that penalty and I genuinely believe we could have walked away with something more positive.

“But what we are walking away with is a really resilient performance and those standards are going to help us going forward into the next couple of matches and for the rest of the season.

“We brought on players that gave us the energy we needed and the players that started laid a fantastic foundation and put a lot of effort in to set us up to get something out of the game.

“It’s bittersweet because we did a lot of really, really good things, but unfortunately have nothing to show for it other than a growth in our internal belief that we can match it with one of the strongest teams in the comp.”

On a sweltering night in the Victorian capital, the hosts set the early pace and twice went close to opening the scoring inside the opening 15 minutes through New Zealand international Hannah Wilkinson and former Glory midfielder, Leticia McKenna.

Having weathered that early storm, the visitors grew into the game as the half wore on and went close to taking the lead just before the break when Susan Phonsongkham played Hintzen in on goal, but after the American had rounded Melissa Barbieri, Naomi Chinnama slid in to prevent her slotting into an empty net.

Just as they had the first, Dario Vidosic’s side began the second half on the front foot, McKenna firing wastefully wide from close range and Ella Mastrantonio then hooking a Kaitlyn Torpey effort off the line.

City were not to be denied for much longer, however, Ekic taking full advantage from the spot after Carroll was rather harshly penalised for her challenge on Pollicina.

Having their resistance broken seemed to inspire rather than demoralise Glory and they piled on the pressure in the latter stages.

With seven minutes left, two headers in quick succession from Alana Jancevski and Hintzen created a chance for Koulizakis who was unable to keep her shot down.

And right at the death, Sofia Sakalis teed up an opportunity for Hintzen who did well to move the ball on to her preferred left foot, but pressurised by a cluster of defenders, sent her effort over the bar.

Despite the defeat, their third of the season, a win over Western United at Macedonia Park on New Year’s Day could move Glory to within four points of the top four.

Match Details

Liberty A-League Round 6

Melbourne City 1 (Ekic (pen) 60′) Perth Glory 0

Half-time: 0-0


Referee: Bec Mackie

Melbourne City: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 3. Naomi CHINNAMA (16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN 78′), 4. Chelsea BLISSETT (7. Julia GROSSO 60′), 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 13. Emina EKIC (20. Caitlin KARIC 69′), 14. Katie BOWEN, 17. Hannah WILKINSON, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 22. Bryleeh HENRY (10. Rhianna POLLICINA 60′), 24. Daniela GALIC

Substitutes not used: 1. Sally JAMES (GK)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 20.Sarah LANGMAN (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL (23.Alana JANCEVSKI 82′), 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM (9.Demi KOULIZAKIS 61′), 12.Sofia SAKALIS, 13.Sarah CAIN (42.Gabriella COLEMAN 69′), 15.Cyera HINTZEN, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 21.Ella MASTRANTONIO (18.Sadie LAWRENCE 69′)

Substitutes not used: 1.Morgan AQUINO (gk)

Yellow Cards: Sakalis, Phonsongkham

Red Cards: None