Melbourne City FC will be looking to secure a place in the 2017-18 Hyundai A-League Semi Finals when they host Brisbane Roar in an Elimination Final at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Following three successive victories and a string of four games undefeated, City suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix in Auckland last weekend.
Warren Joyce’s men controlled possession in the opening 20 minutes, before Bruno Fornaroli found the breakthrough with a spectacular curling effort from the edge of the area.
After falling behind, Wellington hit back through youngster Sarpreet Singh in the 33rd minute. The 19-year-old would secure his brace and the three points for the Phoenix in the 58th minute when his strike took a wicked deflection off Bart Schenkeveld against the run of play.
City will be looking to make the most of their chances in front of goal when they host the in-form Brisbane Roar this Friday night.
John Aloisi’s men have only lost one of their past six matches and are coming off a nail-biting 3-2 win over Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Saturday.
Adam Taggart opened the scoring for the hosts in the 24th minute, before Brisbane hit back with two quick goals courtesy of Henrique and Thomas Kristensen before half-time.
In the 52nd minute, Henrique secured his brace before Aloisi’s men held off a late Perth flurry – which included a penalty save by Jamie Young to deny Diego Castro and an 86th minute goal to Adam Taggart.
Both Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar have shown glimpses of their best form over the past two months, setting up a blockbuster Elimination Final on Friday night.
Michael Jakobsen and Marcin Budzinski have been added to the extended squad for the Elimination Final. See our full team news.
Last time they met
In Round 19, City travelled to Suncorp Stadium where they defeated Brisbane Roar with a 2-1 win in front of 9,150 spectators.
The home side opened the scoring inside 14 minutes when Massimo Maccarone found the back of the net, before the side from Melbourne responded five minutes later through Marcin Budzinski. Stefan Mauk’s strike looked to have secured the come from behind victory in the 66th minute, before Brisbane was awarded a penalty in the 78th minute.
Dean Bouzanis proved to be the hero for City, denying Maccarone the equaliser from the spot.
What was said
Head Coach Warren Joyce
”Every team has to be respected because every team is capable of beating another in a one-off game. They have got experienced players who are good players who can handle the ball. But so have we. We have plenty of ways we can give them problems.”
Brisbane Roar forward Henrique
“We have no fear going away. We’re happy to have accomplished the mission of making finals. Now, we start again, we know we have to win every game and we want to accomplish the next mission.
Where and when
City host Brisbane Roar in an Elimination Final at AAMI Park on Friday 20 April, kick-off 7:50pm (AEDT).