Melbourne City has continued its unbeaten start to the season with a commanding 3-1 win at home, celebrating 10 years as a Club against Central Coast on Friday night.
Curtis Good’s glancing header gave City a 1-0 lead at the break, before Adrian Luna and Rostyn Griffiths extended the hosts lead in the second half. Central Coast snatched a late goal back through Jordan Murray when the attacker found the back of the net from close range.
Erick Mombaerts made two changes to the side that defeated Wellington on Sunday as Harrison Delbridge returned from suspension. His move back into his traditional centre back role meant Josh Brillante returned to his midfield position and Denis Genreau onto the bench. Up front, Adrian Luna replaced Moudi Najjar as the Uruguayan fronted up in the false nine position.
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A soggy AAMI Park entertained a free-flowing opening as both sides looked to muscle the early momentum on the contest.
As the heavens opened after 15 minutes, a blistering strike by Scott Jamieson saw Mark Birighitti tip his effort over the bar as the raucous Yarra end hosted its first corner of the match. The resulting set piece saw Good nod home his first A-League goal since Round 22 of the 2011/12 season as City took the lead.
City went close to doubling their lead after 37 minutes as Craig Noone rattled the crossbar. His delicate, curved effort had Birighitti beat but not the bar as City entered the break ahead.
The hosts continued to push forward despite the Mariners pressure and were almost rewarded after 52 minutes. Adrian Luna latched onto a long ball inside the area, drawing the keeper who couldn’t clutch his first effort. As the Mariners scrambled, Wales found himself with the ball at his feet looking for the final pass as Metcalfe saw his shot blocked by the referee.
The second though came only moments later as a wonderful bit of play was rewarded with an equal finish. A late run from Metcalfe found himself in space on the left as his pinpoint cutback found the feet of Luna who tucked away his effort expertly.
As the half progressed City continued to create chances in the attacking third, as opportunities fell to both Metcalfe and Luna from the dead ball.
In the 82nd minute, City made it 3-0 when Rostyn Griffiths latched onto Lachie Wales’ free kick, making no mistake at the back post.
Despite City’s second half dominance, the Mariners pegged a late goal back when second half substitute Jordan Murray made it 3-1 with one minute of regulation time remaining.
The result makes it fives games unbeaten to open the season, including four consecutive wins for Erick Mombaerts’ team.
City will look to continue their unbeaten start to the season next Sunday as they face Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium, kick-off 4pm.