Victory break hoodoo

Carlos Hernandez had a hand in both of Melbourne's goals as it broke its Perth hoodoo with a 2-1 defeat of the Glory at ME Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Carlos Hernandez had a hand in both of Melbourne's goals as it broke its Perth hoodoo with a 2-1 defeat of the Glory at ME Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

On a windy afternoon, the reigning Hyundai A-League premiers were in no mood to lose their fifth consecutive game in the Western Australian capital, showing their intent in the sixth minute as Hernandez fired them ahead.

Despite being without striker Branko Jelic, a late withdrawal with a virus, the Glory refused to be bowed, drawing level through a spectacular Mile Sterjovski strike in the 19th minute.

Perth upped the intensity and should have gone ahead through a series of attacks just before the break that were miraculously saved by some desperate Melbourne defence.

But having weathered the storm, Melbourne responded in fine style 23 minutes from time, as Hernandez slid in to meet a powerful cross from Victory substitute Nathan Elasi, slipping the ball home to end Perth's unbeaten record at ME Bank Stadium this season.

"Perth's a good side on home soil but very satisfying to put on a performance like that and get all three points," said coach Ernie Merrick.

"We can't control a game for 90 minutes, it's weathering the storm."

"They scored probably against the run of play but I thought we were very strong after that," he said.

Glory coach Dave Mitchell was concerned with the concentration fade-out in the second half that allowed Melbourne to take the lead once again.

"When we're not dominating games, we've got to keep a clean sheet and it seems to be we've got to play really well to score goals and then we tend to switch off a little bit," he said.

"It is concerning 'cause it's happened a few times, so we've really got to put our finger on it."

The result sees Melbourne maintain the pressure on table-topping Sydney. The Victory may remain in second position following their sixth win from the last seven games, but are just one point behind the Sky Blues, as the Glory slip to fifth by the end of this round, having lost three matches on the trot.

The Glory controlled the opening exchanges, though, but found themselves behind in the sixth minute as Melbourne took advantage of its first attack.

Perth's defence backed off as Hernandez took possession and the Costa Rican whiz waltzed into the box and fired home a curling shot that deflected in off Chris Coyne for an own goal.

Five minutes later, Hernandez tried once more with an effort flying over the bar, allowing the Glory to breathe again and mount a few attacks of their own as an impressive Todd Howarth on the left sent a low effort skidding wide of the upright.

It was a sign of things to come, however, as Perth levelled proceedings through a venomous counter-attack two minutes later, with defender Jamie Coyne sweeping forward along the right wing and picking out Sterjovski.

The Glory's marquee man may have spent two matches on the sidelines with an ankle injury but he controlled and turned with supreme class before slamming it into the back of the net from 25 metres.

It was just the lift the Glory faithful needed as their side upped the intensity and controlled proceedings before the break.

Coyne fired one cross-cum-shot narrowly over while Melbourne's goal led a charmed life deep in the half as Kevin Muscat cleared Eugene Dadi's header off the line, before Moss produced an incredible save to deny Dadi from point-blank range.

The break came at the worse possible time for Perth as it robbed the hosts of momentum and allowed Melbourne to re-group and produce a much more composed opening to the second period.

Neither side seemed likely to threaten the goal however until Melbourne coach Ernie Merrick brought striker Nathan Elasi on for Mate Dugandzic in the 64th minute.

Within seconds Elasi had a chance, firing over the bar when he should have done better after being set up by the tireless Archie Thompson's unselfish cross.

But the youngster made amends in the 67th minute as he was picked out by Thompson again on the right. The Melbourne No. 10 scrapped desperately for the ball, before slipping it to Elasi, whose cross-cum shot found a sliding lunge from Hernandez at the far post to give the Victory the lead once again.

Having restored the advantage, Melbourne seemed content to soak up the pressure, but its defence was almost caught out when the ball landed perfectly for Adriano Pellegrino to attempt an on-target long-range effort that cannoned into Kevin Muscat's shoulder and over the bar.

And, deep into injury time, young Glory substitute Ludovic Boi fired in a superb cross that Glen Moss did well to see into the sun, allowing Melbourne to take the points.

Hyundai A-League

Perth Glory 1 (Sterjovski 19) Melbourne Victory 2 (Coyne (og) 6, Hernandez 67) Crowd: 10,035 at Perth's ME Bank Stadium