Melbourne Victory suffered a 3-2 loss to Perth Glory in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday.
Victory appeared to have earned a hard-fought point after Terry Antonis and Storm Roux cancelled out Glory’s two-goal lead, given to them via Joel Chianese and Andy Keogh.
Instead, it was Perth who found a dramatic winner, Chris Ikonomidis giving Glory all three points with a 93rd-minute goal.
While Victory was on top early, it was unfortunate to fall behind in the eighth minute, when Chianese scrambled in the opener for Glory.
Victory controlled possession but struggled to get in behind Perth, which stayed compact and frustrated the host.
Glory doubled its lead midway through the first half, Keogh dinking a finish over Lawrence Thomas in a one-on-one after a long header from Tomislav Mrcela.
Kosta Barbarouses – playing his 100th Hyundai A-League game for the club – had a chance to pull one back, but Perth’s desperate defending denied the attacker after Kenny Athiu’s flick-on header.
Athiu and Barbarouses had efforts at goal just after the half-hour mark, the former’s blocked before the latter curled a strike well wide.
A Keisuke Honda corner caused Perth problems approaching half-time, but Victory went into the break 2-0 down.
However, the host made the perfect start to the second half thanks to Antonis.
The midfielder received a pass from Honda before rifling a powerful effort in off the post to bring Victory back into the game.
Victory, which lost Athiu to a suspected injury, continued to dominate, Barbarouses almost getting on the end of a Honda cross to equalise.
Honda almost brought Victory level in the 68th minute, the Japanese superstar forcing a save from Liam Reddy from 20 yards, while the Glory goalkeeper managed to keep out Barbarouses’ late volley.
But there was no denying Roux with three minutes remaining, the full-back heading in Honda’s corner for the equaliser.
However, Ikonomidis put away a late winner for Perth, capitalising on a rebound after Thomas had done brilliantly to deny Chianese.
Player in focus
What they said – Antonis
on the game…
“It’s just unlucky – three mistakes, three goals against us. We were much better in the second half, but we’ve just got to keep going.”
on the message at half-time…
“It was to just go out there, play, we’ve got to win the game, we’re at home, and we were just unlucky. We had a lot of chances to score. I think Kosta should’ve had a penalty, but that’s what happens.”
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 2
Melbourne Victory 2 (Terry Antonis 47′, Storm Roux 87′)
Perth Glory 3 (Joel Chianese 8′, Andy Keogh 23′, Chris Ikonomidis 90+3′)
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk); Roux, Ansell, Niedermeier (Deng 75′), Brown; Baena (Valeri 80′); Honda (c), Troisi, Antonis; Barbarouses, Athiu (Ingham 57′).
Perth Glory: Reddy (gk); Franjic (Neville 81′), Mrcela, Lowry, Grant, Davidson; Chianese, Juande, Kilkenny (Wilson 88′), Ikonomidis, Keogh (c) (Ferreira 78′).
Yellow cards: Kilkenny 11′, Thomas 28′, Reddy 42′, Honda 62′, Juande 72′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory makes the trip to Newcastle to face the Jets in a Grand Final rematch on Saturday, November 3.