Match Report: City 2-1 Perth

Match Report: City 2-1 Perth

Melbourne City FC has capped off its 2020/21 W-League campaign with a 2-1 win over Perth Glory, ensuring that the team ends the season on the back of three consecutive victories.

Rhali Dobson was the star of the show, netting the opening goal in her final W-League game following an incredible back-heel assist from Tori Tumeth.

Harriet Withers marked her return from injury with an assist for Alex Chidiac, with the midfielder scoring the second goal of the game in the 79th minute.

Patricia Charalambous dampened the mood slightly when she netted a 95th-minute consolation goal, but nothing could wipe the smile from Rhali Dobson’s face post-game as she celebrated her W-League retirement with her teammates.

The night became even more special for Rhali when her partner Matt surprised her with an engagement proposal – and she said yes!

Starting XI

Consecutive W-League wins against Newcastle and Perth in recent weeks saw a mostly unchanged lineup from Rado Vidosic, with only Jenna McCormick missing through injury, allowing for Samantha Johnson to return to the starting lineup.

What happened?

It was Chinatsu Kira who would earn City’s first chance of the game just four minutes in, latching on to a throw-in and testing Perth keeper Lily Alfeld from a narrow angle.

Kira’s chance sparked City’s early domination, with the home side combining well to create multiple opportunities on goal within the opening ten minutes.

Tijan McKenna recorded the visiting team’s first decent chance at goal, running on to a clipped ball over the top but firing her long-range, left-footed strike wide of the mark.

The home crowd were given a scare in the 22nd when City failed to clear from the Perth corner, allowing Hannah Lowry two bites at the cherry, with the latter attempt narrowly trailing wide.

The game then settled throughout the latter period of the first half, with City in particular electing for a patient passing approach to draw out the Glory defence.

With just a few minutes left to play in the first 45, City were remarkably denied on several occasions during a hectic scramble in the six-yard box. The home side’s multiple on-target shots were blocked either by a scrambling Alfeld or on the goal line by the Glory defenders, with that succession of opportunities proving an exciting end to the first half.

Following a cagey start to the second period, the fairytale wrote itself in the 63rd minute when Rhali Dobson scored in her final game to put City one goal ahead. Tori Tumeth was the first player to get to City’s overhit corner and with no immediate passing options the way she was facing, the youngster elected to backheel perfectly into Dobson’s path for the powered finish past Alfeld.

The beloved City winger would later be substituted in the 75th minute, receiving a fitting send-off from the home crowd in her final W-League game.

Harriet Withers was the player to replace Dobson, with the forward marking her return from injury with an assist for Alex Chidiac for City’s second goal of the game. The midfielder received the ball just inside the box, shifted the ball onto her left foot to evade the Perth defender and slamming her shot into the bottom right corner.

Just as it appeared City would be securing a third-consecutive clean sheet, Patricia Charalambous was fed through on goal and finished past Barbieri to nab a consolation for the visitors, with the final scoreline reading 2-1 to City.

What’s next?

That’s all for this W-League season, with City finishing with four wins and one draw to see us achieve a seventh-place finish overall.