Melbourne City made it back-to-back A-League Women’s victories to close out 2023 with a 5-3 win over Brisbane Roar.
Emina Ekic’s hattrick took the headlines on what was an entertaining evening of football at AAMI Park.
Head Coach Dario Vidosic made one change to his lineup that recorded a 1-0 win in Saturday’s Melbourne Derby.
Kaitlyn Torpey was named in the starting XI for the first time in a couple of games, replacing Leticia McKenna and playing a new role further up the pitch instead of her usual position at fullback.
Starting XI: 44. Lysianne PROULX (GK), 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 13. Rebekah STOTT (C), 5. Taylor OTTO, 7. Julia GROSSO, 14. Laura HUGHES, 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 11. Emina EKIC, 24. Daniela GALIC, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.
Substitutes: 23. Melissa BARBIERI (GK), 6. Leticia McKENNA, 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 19. Tijan McKENNA, 22. Bryleeh HENRY.
Things got off to a sloppy start, Brisbane scoring inside just four minutes through Mia Corbin.
We began to turn things around after 15 minutes, managing to build some momentum with some longer spells of possession through the middle of the park.
The reward would come in the 20th minute when Ekic capitalised on a poor back pass from Brisbane, intercepting and cooly slotting home from almost the same blade of grass she scored from in the Melbourne Debry less than a week ago.
One quickly brought two and in the space of less than two minutes, we found ourselves on the right side of a one-goal deficit.
Daniela Galic’s strike was well-saved but fell straight into the path of Ekic, who blasted it into the top corner from close range.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina international capped off the perfect first-half performance a little over 10 minutes later, adding an assist to her double.
She whipped in a perfectly placed corner which Hannah Wilkinson met with an outstretched right boot to turn it home and make it 3-1.
Brisbane pulled a goal back a couple of minutes into the second half but the Ekic show would roll on, our number 11 completing her hattrick in the 52nd minute.
She lost two defenders with a sharp cut inside, then put it past Jordan Silkowitz for the third time of the night.
Rhianna Pollicina joined the party with 15 minutes to play, netting from the spot after Galic was brought down in the box, ensuring we’d make it back-to-back wins.
A trip to Adelaide is coming up next for our City Women, set to face the Reds away from home next Saturday evening.