Melbourne Victory's hot run of A-League form has continued with a Marco Rojas goal capping a 1-0 win over travel-shy Perth Glory at AAMI Park.
Rojas' classy second-half score continued an excellent season for the New Zealand speedster as the third-placed Victory made it four wins and a draw from their past five games to move within a point of second-placed Central Coast.
The fifth-placed Glory have managed just two points from their past four games and only one from four away matches this season.
Perth, missing Jacob Burns (suspended) along with Michael Thwaite and Scott Jamieson (Socceroos), were further hit by the pre-game withdrawal of Liam Miller, injured in the warm-up.
They still created two decent opportunities in the first 15 minutes, both involving Nick Ward pushing unmarked into the penalty area.
If not for Dean Heffernan putting slightly too much power on a free kick Ward would have had an open header.
Soon after, Steven McGarry found Ward again unmarked in the box from a free kick, with Ward's header across goal floating narrowly off-target.
But Victory started to work their way on top and spent much of the first half in attack, although without giving Glory keeper Danny Vukovic too much work.
The closest Melbourne came to scoring before the interval was when a clever Andrew Nabbout chip set Rojas free in the box in the 28th minute, but Rojas' attempt to lob Vukovic grazed the top of the crossbar.
Victory's dominance continued early in the second half.
A penetrating Rojas run delivered Nabbout a great opportunity within three minutes of the restart, although Nabbout's left-footer was just wide.
But Rojas didn't need any help nine minutes later, slotting a deft chip inside the right post from the left flank.
Perth pushed hard for a late leveller, again looking most threatening in the air, with a Shane Smeltz header forcing a sharp Coe save in the 75th minute.
Substitute Chris Harold, who had earlier botched a chance with an open header of his own, almost made amends in the 90th minute with a surging run into the box and fierce shot, which Coe blocked to ensure Victory's second clean sheet in as many games.
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