Good sees red as City slip up out west
MELBOURNE City coach Warren Joyce left star attacker Bruno Fornaroli out of the side for a third straight match, and the Uruguayan's absence up front was telling in a 1-0 loss to Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
City, who had Curtis Good sent off for a controversial second yellow card offence in the 80th minute and were without injured Belgian defender Ritchie De Laet, fell to a Chris Ikonomidis strike in the first half and are now seven points off the heady pace set by their opponents at the top of the table.
City had plenty of ball, especially in the first 45 minutes, but were unable to capitalise on it, something Joyce lamented after the game.
"I thought we were on the front foot all night," said Joyce, who felt his team should have come away with at least a draw.
"Certainly in the first 35 minutes we looked like the dominant team.
"At times the execution and decision making around the box could have been better, and if it was, it would have led to goals."
Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic is optimistic Matthew Spiranovic has escaped serious injury despite the defender limping off in the first half.
Spiranovic, who had missed a year of action because of a serious hip injury, was surprisingly named in the starting line-up after playing just two youth games on limited minutes.
Popovic said early indications were that Spiranovic had injured his hamstring rather than doing damage to his dreaded hip.
"He felt a bit tight and didn't want to push any further. I believe it was hamstring," Popovic said.
Perth's win extended the club's unbeaten run to seven games, keeping them two points clear of Melbourne Victory.
Importantly, they have now opened up a six-point gap on Sydney FC, who suffered a shock 3-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, but Ikonomidis broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute when he made the most of Andy Keogh's deflected shot to slot home the opener.
Ikonomidis now has five goals for the season, boosting his chances of earning a Socceroos recall in time for the Asian Cup.