Match Report: City 1-0 Perth

Melbourne City looks set to finish 2022 on top of the A-League Women table after securing another three points against Perth Glory on Tuesday night.

A second half City penalty won by Rhianna Pollicina and converted by Emina Ekic was ultimately the difference on a warm night at AAMI Park.

Team News

Facing a quick turnaround from Friday night’s away win over Canberra, Head Coach Dario Vidosic made four changes to his starting XI.

Hannah Wilkinson made her first appearance of the season, replacing Maria Jose Rojas, while both Rhianna Pollicina and Julia Grosso moved to the bench. Daniela Galic and Emina Ekic returned to the line-up, plus Melissa Barbieri also replaced Sally James in between the sticks.

Starting XI: 23. Melissa BARBIERI, 8. Kaitlyn TORPEY, 3. Naomi CHINNAMA, 14. Katie BOWEN, 4. Chelsea BLISSETT, 18. Leah DAVIDSON, 6. Leticia MCKENNA, 24. Daniela GALIC, 22. Bryleeh HENRY, 13. Emina EKIC, 17. Hannah WILKINSON.

Substitutes: 1. Sally JAMES (GK), 7. Julia GROSSO, 10. Rhianna POLLICINA, 16. Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 20. Caitlin KARIC.

What happened?

In a shock to nobody, City dominated the possession from the start, barely allowing Perth a touch of the ball – let alone for long enough to settle and work into the game.

Leticia McKenna was at her creative best in midfield in the first half and almost scored what surely would have eventually gone down as goal of the season.

She received the ball in her own half before going on a driving run through the Glory defence, virtually going through the whole team. After eventually finding herself on a tight angle, she unleashed a powerful strike destined for the near-post but was denied by a good save from Glory goalkeeper, Sarah Langman.

That was City’s best chance of the half as although it continued to dominate possession, clear cut chances were few and far between.

The visiting Glory side looked to have a great chance to open scoring in the 40th minute, but Naomi Chinnama tracked back desperately to put in a great block to deny Cyera Hintzen the opportunity to open scoring.

City’s possession translated into some good chances early in the second half, first through McKenna in the 48th minute.

Kaitlyn Torpey was next just two minutes later and was only denied by a goal line clearance from Ella Mastrantonio.

The Glory resistance would ultimately end 10 minutes later as half time substitute Rhianna Pollicina was brought down in the box with the referee signalling for a spot kick.

After a stutter-step run up, Emina Ekic cooly tucked the penalty into the bottom left corner to net her fourth goal of the season.

Unfortunately Ekic’s night would could come to end just minutes later as the American attacker had to be helped from the field with an ankle injury.

While City fans were disappointed to see Ekic leave the pitch, a nice moment did come in the 78th minute when Karly Roestbakken was subbed on for her City debut after missing the start of the season with injury.

She didn’t put a foot wrong in her cameo, ensuring City would see out the clean sheet and take home all three points.

What’s next?

City will now enjoy a bit of time to rest following its two matches in five days, not in action again until January 8 when it faces Western Sydney away from home.

Our City Women will return for their first home match of 2023 on January 14 against Melbourne Victory, with another away fixture to Adelaide snuck in between those two matches.