NPL Match Report: City 4-2 Victory

Melbourne City FC has picked up a first win of its 2022 NPL3 campaign, defeating Melbourne Victory 4-2 at home.

Luke Oresti opened the scoring for City to give us the half-time lead before a Moonib Adus brace and Max Caputo’s first of the season saw the lead extend as the second half progressed despite a pair of Victory consolation goals along the way.

Starting XI

Following an opening round draw, John Maisano named an unchanged lineup to face Victory. Only one change was made in the entire squad, with Giorgio Serdenes replacing Dante Avian on the bench.

What happened?

Adus had a great chance to put the home side ahead early when he was played through from midfield in the 2nd minute but had his shot on goal smothered by the onrushing Christian Siciliano.

That route to goal proved to be effective in the early minutes as Adus was again played through wide behind the Victory defence in the 6th, this time squaring a ball to Arion Sulemani who blazed his close-range effort over the bar.

Soon enough it would be Victory’s turn, with Ahmad Taleb pulling off a good save at his near post in the 14th when Binyam Kebede struck a shot on the swivel.

Following a drinks break in the 23rd minute amidst hot conditions, the City boys would find the opener in the 27th with a familiar name getting on the scoresheet. For the second game running, it was midfielder Luke Oresti who found the back of the net first, slaloming his way inside off the left and then rifling a powerful strike into the far corner.

Emin Durakovic nearly netted an early goal of the season contender in the 30th when he unleashed a scorching strike from well outside the area that smashed into the left upright despite passing through a sea of Victory bodies.

Oresti then had a brilliant chance to double City’s advantage two minutes into first-half stoppage time when he received the ball inside the box and tried to lift a shot over Siciliano but was slightly wide of the mark, with the referee’s whistle blowing to signal the end of the half just moments later.

The team got the fast start it was after thanks to Adus, who cut inside to the edge of the area and bent a curling effort into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0 in the 48th.

Calamity struck in the 55th for City when central defender Jordan Dellidis was clumsy in fouling his man whilst attempting to protect the ball when calling for Taleb to come out and claim. Anthony Leban stepped up to convert the spot-kick with power a minute later.

The City boys found a succinct reply through Adus in the 60th, with the winger netting his second of the match after relying on some quick feet to receive a pass inside the area and shift the ball onto his left to finish at the near post.

The lead was extended to three goals in the 70th when Max Caputo netted his first of 2022 with a well-placed finish across the keeper after receiving a short pass from substitute Jordi Valdon inside the area.

Victory came close in the 85th when Kebede drew a goal-line clearance from Dom Folino to prevent his scuffed strike from trickling into the back of the net, but the visitors went one better in the 89th when City’s failure to clear inside the box afforded Alexander Tsimopolous the time to strike beyond Taleb and into the back of the net for the late consolation, with the final scoreline reading 4-2 in City’s favour.

What’s next?

Undefeated in our opening two games, the City boys will look ahead to their Round 3 clash with Western United away from home next Sunday afternoon.