Mitchell rues another late goal

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell was left to lament another missed opportunity as his side conceded a late equaliser to Gold Coast United through Shane Smeltz in the 90th minute.

Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell was left to lament another missed opportunity as his side conceded a late equaliser to Gold Coast United through Shane Smeltz in the 90th minute.

The Glory appeared on track for a sensational victory over the table-topping Gold Coast side during the first half when goals to Branko Jelic and Victor Sikora saw them establish a 2-0 lead by the 16th minute.

But United reeled in the deficit, pulling a goal back through Bas van den Brink's header in the 52nd minute before Smeltz finished off a fantastic cross from Steve Pantelidis in the final minute of regular time.

Mitchell was left frustrated Glory substitute Amaral didn't receive a free kick in the build-up to Smeltz's goal. But the coach was even more disappointed with some pedestrian defending late in the game that allowed United to create the chance.

It's not the first time the Glory coach has been left feeling like this. In Round 2, the Glory conceded a goal in the last 10 minutes to a Leo Bertos thunderbolt that cost them victory, while last week against Central Coast, the Mariners snatched full points through an 89th-minute Matt Simon winner.

"The first-half performance was exceptional, they're a good side and we dominated totally," Mitchell said.

"But they scored (early in the second half) and I think they got a lot of belief from that goal."

"Up to that point, we'd handled them very well but when they scored, it changes the psychology a bit."

"They changed shape, went to five in the midfield, so with us, we had to cope with it."

"We sort of rode the wave and (held them at bay) so it was disappointing again to concede so late."

While Mitchell struggled to account for another late defensive lapse, United coach Miron Bleiberg questioned the Glory players' fitness and their ability to run out 90 minutes.

"They (the Glory) were a bit down in the second half," Bleiberg said.

"They are the same quality as us," he added, referring to the two clubs' overall ability.

"But fitness wise (they are down). Maybe it's to do with the age of the players, I don't know, you can do the calculations," he said.

Indeed, eight of the 14 members of Perth's team on Sunday are aged over 30, but Mile Sterjovski refused to concede the late goal was the result of poor fitness or age, the striker suggesting it was more a case of being mentally switched off towards the end of the game.

"I think we let them back into the game and it's very disappointing," Sterjovski said.

"Hopefully our lucks going to change (but) we can concentrate on that last 15 minutes of the game, because I think that's where we do struggle a bit."

"Apart from that, I thought there were a lot of positives from the game and we deserved a lot more once again."