Melbourne City FC will begin its 2022 Finals campaign when it faces Adelaide United away from home in the Semi Final first leg.
Patrick Kisnorbo’s men will be full of confidence after securing back-to-back Premiers Plate’s with a win over Wellington Phoenix last time out.
It was from an easy win on the night, with City made to fought hard for the three points it needed to lift the Plate once again. Two goals inside the first ten minutes got City off to a dream start as a pair of Taras Gomulka corners did the damage.
Wellington defender Sam Sutton first headed into his own net, before an intelligent Andrew Nabbout flick-on found a perfectly placed Jamie Maclaren to head home from close-range. Despite a tense second half that saw the Phoenix pull a goal back, City deservedly held on for the win.
Although this may have been a great way for City to end the season heading into Finals, Adelaide United also has plenty of confidence under its belt going into their home leg on Wednesday.
The Reds have now won their last six fixtures in a row, with five of these matches being played at Coopers Stadium. Most recently it saw a 3-1 Elimination Final win on Sunday in a fixture that the home side never really looked like losing after going 1-0 up in the 26th minute through Craig Goodwin.
City’s away record in Adelaide in recent years is certainly not reminiscent of the form that has seen it Premiers for two consecutive years, with the team not having picked up the three points in the City of Churches since 2018.
Andrew Nabbout was on the scoresheet on both occasions when we met at Coopers Stadium earlier this season, but despite this, City would drop points from winning positions as both clashes ended with the points shared.
While that recent record may not make for pretty reading, nothing will matter if City can pick up the three points in Wednesday’s first leg. There may not be an Away Goals rule in place for the Finals, but City will still be looking to come back to Melbourne with a lead already in hand.
Firepower upfront is certainly something that City doesn’t lack, with the all Socceroos attacking quartet of Jamie Maclaren, Matthew Leckie, Marco Tilio and Nabbout combined for 33 goals and 18 assists across the A-League Men season.
In some exciting news for City fans, Kisnorbo also confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Florin Berenguer is also available for selection after having not featured in over a month.
A-League Men: Semi Final First Leg
Adelaide United v Melbourne City FC
Wednesday 18 May, 7:05pm kick-off