Match Report City 2-2 Wellington

Macca FK

A pulsating 2-2 draw with Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon has put Melbourne City FC within touching distance of a maiden Premiers Plate. The point and other results around the league going its way mean that City can claim the plate with a win against Central Coast Mariners at home next Saturday night.

Naoki Tsubaki’s first goal in City colours was followed up by a Jamie Maclaren stunner before Tomer Hemed equalised late on to share the spoils.

Starting XI

Patrick Kisnorbo rang in the changes for a home side that was playing their 4th game in just 11 days; Stefan Colakovski, Marco Tilio, Adrian Luna, Nuno Reis, Naoki Tsubaki and Ben Garuccio all coming into the side. Craig Noone, Jamie Maclaren and Scott Jamieson headlined a star-studded bench as the gaffer looked to freshen a few players up and get some important minutes into others approaching the twilight of the season.

What happened?

The first half was a genuine arm wrestle with Wellington edging the contest, the Phoenix getting some reward for effort when a Ben Garuccio foul on Louis Fenton saw a spot kick awarded and Tomer Hemed duly dispatched the penalty.
A monstrous save just moments later from Tom Glover ensured the home side remained in the contest and as the second half began, City began to turn the screws. A defensive error from the Phoenix saw Marco Tilio, in man of the match form, out pace his defender and cut the ball back for Japanese youngster Naoki Tsubaki at the near post. Tsubaki’s poise was rewarded with his first goal down under and the home side were back on terms with half an hour to play.

A raft of changes for City would have sent chills down the spine of Wellington coach Ufuk Talay and Maclaren almost made good following a terrific Galloway cross, whilst Marco Tilio also provided an amazing solo run that was well kept out by Oliver Sail in the Phoenix goal.

There are three certainties in life; death, taxes and Jamie Maclaren finding the back of the net. The third was once again on full display as Maclaren scored a sensational free kick on the 81st minute to hand City the lead. The Golden Boot leader, not particularly known for his set piece prowess, stepped up just outside the 18-yard box and following a Garuccio dummy run, curled an absolute peach into the top right-hand corner.

Wellington weren’t about to rollover however, and a well-placed David Ball cross found the outstretched boot of Tomer Hemed, the toe poke gliding over Glover and into the top left-hand corner for the equaliser.

City were to go closest in the dying moments with a Connor Metcalfe solo effort crashing into the base of the upright – however the points were ultimately shared in a terrific match of A-League football.

What’s next?

City can create history by winning their first Premiers Plate with a win at AAMI Park against the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday May 22, with kick off at 7.10pm. You will not want to miss this – click here to get your tickets now!