Melbourne Victory saw its unbeaten run ended with a 1-0 loss to Perth Glory in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday.
A first-half header from Andy Keogh saw Perth to its win at nib Stadium, ending Victory’s undefeated streak at five games.
Leroy George went closest for the visitor when he hit the crossbar in the first half, as Victory slipped to fourth on the table.
Perth pushed early as Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas twice came off his line to try deny attacks through Keogh and Joel Chianese.
Victory’s defence held firm under the early pressure before the visitor went close in the 24th minute.
Terry Antonis found George with a set-piece and the winger’s volley was tipped onto the crossbar by Liam Reddy, with Kosta Barbarouses’ follow up blocked.
Victory almost opened the scoring eight minutes before half-time.
George played a pass into Besart Berisha, who while off balance shot just wide from inside the area.
Perth threatened prior to the break as Keogh headed a Joseph Mills cross wide of Thomas’ left post.
The Irishman made no mistake with his next chance, heading a Scott Neville cross into the top corner to make it 1-0.
A brilliant Thomas save and a desperate, sliding clearance from Rhys Williams denied Keogh a second in the 50th minute.
Berisha forced Reddy into a straightforward save soon after and George saw a powerful 25-yard strike fly over with 21 minutes remaining.
Despite piling on the pressure late, Victory was unable to find an equaliser in Perth.
Player in focus
What they said – Leigh Broxham
on the game…
“I think we were building up well, just maybe the final pass a few times, from everybody, it was tough. The final ball broke down a little bit, they were defending desperately as well. Keogh took his goal very well and they had a couple of other opportunities that maybe we could’ve fixed earlier in the run of the game. It was a difficult night. It was hard to come here and it was probably a good game to watch.”
on the late pressure…
“We were building pressure. They dropped very deep and it’s up to us to find a solution, which we didn’t tonight. They’re things we work on and there’ll be positives to take from the game as well so we’ll keep working. We’ve got a game in another week and we’ll look to fix it then.”
on the chase for a top-three finish…
“There’s a Champions League spot there potentially up for grabs. There are three games left and it’s up to us to try and get maximum points from them all.”
Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 24
Perth Glory 1 (Andy Keogh 43′)
Melbourne Victory 0
Perth Glory: Reddy (gk), Neville, Djulbic, Lowry, Mills, Andreu (Taggart 60′), Kilkenny, Torres, Chianese (Harold 60′), Keogh (c), Castro (Grant 83′)
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk), Deng (Nigro 83′), Williams, Donachie, Broxham, Sanchez (Theoharous 65′), Valeri (c), Antonis, Barbarouses, Berisha, George (Hope 83′)
Yellow cards: Keogh 7′, Djulbic 24′, George 32′, Neville 66′, Broxham 90+4′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: nib Stadium
Victory is back at home in Round 25, hosting the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday, March 31. Tickets available here.