Match Report: City 0-1 Brisbane

Melbourne City FC suffered defeat in the A-League Women on Thursday night, going down 1-0 to Brisbane Roar at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.

Mariel Hecher opened the scoring with her 26th-minute strike and the home side simply couldn’t recover despite a brave second-half fightback.

Starting XI

Rado Vidosic made just one change from the triumphant lineup that faced Sydney FC on Sunday, handing Caitlin Karic her first senior start in the absence of Holly McNamara who suffered an ACL injury last weekend.

What happened?

There was little action in terms of shooting opportunities in the early stages of the game, yet plenty of action and some crucial defensive interventions to prevent those big chances from coming to be.

With City’s regular two striking options missing, it was Brisbane who had looked the likelier over that period and this early superiority was proven in the 26th minute when Shea Connors was able to float a ball across the face of goal for Mariel Hecher to glance home.

The team went in desperate search of an immediate equaliser, with Kaitlyn Torpey trying to inspire her side with a long-range strike in the 33rd minute to test Isabella Shuttleworth in goal, but the young keeper got down to save well.

The chances kept coming at either end, with Barbieri holding solid at the back for City whilst Karic came close to scoring on her starting debut with a shot that flashed narrowly over the crossbar in the 41st.

A helter-skelter start to the second period followed, headlined by a mad scramble inside Brisbane’s six-yard box. From City’s 52nd-minute corner, the ball was struck into the crossbar and then off the upright but somehow couldn’t be scrapped over the line as Shuttleworth came out to claim.

Barbieri then continued her great form in one-on-ones this season with a crucial save against Larissa Crummer in the 54th.

Despite a spirited City fightback that saw the Roar’s chances dry up almost entirely, the team just couldn’t net the crucial goals to change the result.

Emma Checker came close on two occasions in the closing stages, even striking the crossbar, but the final scoreline would ultimately remain 0-1 in the visiting side’s favour.

What’s next?

The result hands the Premiership advantage back to Sydney FC for now, with City’s only option being to win its final two games, starting with Newcastle Jets at home on Tuesday, and hope for other results to go our way.