Melbourne City Youth suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, going down 3-1 away to the Perth Glory.
An early brace by the Glory’s Joel Chianese rocked the previously undefeated City, who despite getting a goal back through Gianluca Iannucci in the 17th minute were unable to properly claw their way back into the contest.
A 61st minute goal from second half substitute Daniel Stynes would then go secure the game for the Glory, who grabbed first victory of the 2017/18 Y-League season with the 3-1 win.
Having secured his sides progression to the 2017/18 Grand Final with their victory over Adelaide United last week, Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ made a number of changes to his Starting XI.
Goalkeeper Yaren Sozer made a return to the starting list, notching his third appearance between the posts this season, whilst Gianluca Iannucci, Anthony Lesiotis and Aiden Farquhar also started for Palatsides.
Connor Metcalfe was unable for selection after being promoted to Warren Joyce’s senior side, whilst Josh Cavallo was left out of the squad to rest.
Mitch Graham, who picked up an ankle injury against Adelaide, started on the bench as a precautionary measure.
Having been pushed to the brink by a fierce Adelaide United last week, City once again found themselves jumped by ferocious opposition when the Glory went ahead after only five minutes.
The goal came through Joel Chianese, the 27-year-old A-League Striker getting some Y-League minutes as he works his way back from a groin injury, beating Sozer to give the Glory an early lead.
Chianese was one of several senior players in the Glory XI, with former Liverpool youth player Jake Brimmer manning the midfield and Jacob Poscoliero lining up in the centre of the Glory defence as he continued his recovery from a virus that hospitalized him on Tuesday.
Six minutes after the first goal the Glory would compound City’s poor start when Chianese would grab his second.
Some clever work by Glory scholarship player Joe Knowles set up the move, with the 19-year-old able to thread the ball through the City defence to put former Blacktown City and Sydney FC striker Chianese through on goal.
Under sunny, 29-degree conditions City found themselves at risk of being completely out of the game before 20 minutes had been played, and began to push back in search of a foothold.
Their efforts would soon be rewarded, when in the 17th minute Iannucci would grab his first goal of the Y-League season and get City back into the game.
Collecting the ball on the wing, City scholarship player Ramy Najjarine would drive a cross into the area, where the Iannucci was dutifully waiting to turn it into the net and make it 2-1.
After a barnstorming opening, the game began to settle into a rhythm; Perth going close in the 26th minute through Chok Dau and City going near equalizing twice in quick succession through captain Denis Genreau and Lucas Derrick on the half hour mark.
The Glory were then struck a blow late in the first half when Knowles suffered the fate of many a Perth Glory player this year, limping off in the 40th minute with an apparent injury.
He was joined on the bench at half time by Chianese and Brimmer, Glory head coach John Gibson deciding that discretion was the better part of valour when it came to the health of two of his remaining A-League players on the park.
The substitutions didn’t slow the Glory down however, and on 63 minutes the man that replaced Chianese, Stynes, would grab Perth’s third goal.
Drifting into the penalty area, Stynes capitalized in some fine build up play from Dau and Henry Hore; poking the ball in at the back post and putting the Glory ahead 3-1.
With the temperature in Perth beginning to soar as the sun reached it’s peak in the sky, 33-degree temperatures forcing a drinks break in the 75th minute, City’s chances of staging a late comeback began to look grim.
Despite these hot conditions and their short week, Palatsides’ side was nonetheless able to press hard in search of a comeback, with their best chance for getting one back coming off the head of Dylan Pierias in the 85th minute.
The fullback, who had scored two goals in two weeks since his return from concussion was able to get his head to the ball first in the Perth penalty box as it was looped in, but the 17-year-old could only direct it wide.
It was City’s best chance of their comeback attempt, and five minutes later referee Shane Skinner would call time on the contest; consigning City to their first Y-League defeat since January 2, 2017.
City will return to Melbourne next week for their final match of the 2017/18 Y-League season, as they travel to Epping Stadium to take on the Melbourne Victory in the Youth Melbourne Derby.
The game is the return fixture of the Round 3 fixture between the two sides that saw City put the Victory to the sword on their way to a dominating 9-2 win.