MELBOURNE City will have to wait a little longer for their first piece of silverware after losing Wednesday’s FFA Cup semi-final away to Perth Glory.
The fatigued and undermanned City produced enough chances but was punished for sloppy defending, losing 3-1 at nib Stadium as hopes of an all-Melbourne FFA Cup final were dashed.
Socceroo Aaron Mooy and Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli toiled hard, but City lost the game in a disastrous final 10 minutes of the first half, when they lost keeper Tando Velaphi to concussion before conceding a soft goal deep into stoppage time.
Glory gets a shot at redemption after losing last season’s FFA Cup final to Adelaide United, and will now meet the winner of next Wednesday’s semi-final between Melbourne Victory and Hume City, on November 7, with the venue yet to be confirmed.
City made six changes from last Saturday’s Melbourne derby loss, including between the sticks with Velaphi rewarded for his stellar FFA Cup form.
But the former Glory keeper had a night to forget, forced off just before half-time with a bloodied nose after colliding with Guyon Fernandez when courageously coming off his line to clear a teasing Nebo Marinkovic free-kick.
Velaphi had already conceded in the 24th minute, as Hungarian Gyorgy Sandor was well placed to tap in after the keeper had pulled off a fine save from Chris Harold’s header.
City deservedly found an equaliser in the 43rd minute when debutant Matthew Millar headed home Mooy’s corner.
Poor City defending gifted Glory a second three minutes into first half stoppage time when they allowed a high kick from keeper Ante Covic to bounce before a desperate Ben Garuccio hacked the ball into his own net trying to stop Fernandez getting through.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe went more conservative in the second half, bringing on Diogo Ferreira for Mitch Oxborrow in midfield, and they were tougher to break down.
However both teams had chances in the second half, as Steve Kuzmanovski blasted over the bar before Sorensen tipped over a header from Dino Djulbic, who was a constant threat from set pieces.
Substitute David Williams then had a glorious chance to equalise in the 70th minute, blazing millimetres past the post.
City was made to pay, as Glory attacked two minutes later and the brilliance of former Spanish La Liga veteran Diego Castro saw him beat three City players before slipping through Harold.
The striker got behind the City defence before sliding it under Sorensen, who was beaten too easily at the near post.
Uruguayan Bruno Fornaroli had a great chance moments later but was denied by brave Glory defending.
City was about to throw on another attacker in Stefan Zinni, but an injury to defender Jack Clisby forced them to bring on fellow defender Patrick Kisnorbo.
Thereafter City ran out of steam, as the effects of the Melbourne derby just four days earlier told.
© 2015 F | This article was written by David Davutovic on 21 October 2015.