Melbourne City FC has continued its unbeaten start to the season, progressing to the FFA Cup quarter-finals by beating Hume City 1-0 last night. Mathew Leckie scored the all-important goal in the 20th minute, finishing from Manuel Pucciarelli’s assist on his club debut.
Patrick Kisnorbo named a very youthful starting lineup to face Hume, with Kerrin Stokes, Jordan Bos, Anthony Lesiotis, Taras Gomulka, Raphael Borges Rodrigues and Marco Tilio all named in the XI. Nathaniel Atkinson and Stefan Colakovski were both unavailable for the clash, with the former picking up a slight niggle and sitting out of the clash as a precaution, whilst the latter was unwell. Manuel Pucciarelli also started the clash for City, making his first competitive appearance for his new club since joining in September. Rostyn Griffiths took the captain’s armband for the night.
As was the case in the Round of 32, City controlled the early stages with plenty of possession. Griffiths and Good’s composure on the ball in central defence was also crucial to that early dominance, snuffing out Hume’s attacks before they could progress the ball into dangerous areas.
The big moment of the early stages arrived in the 10th minute when Pucciarelli fed Borges Rodrigues into the box, only for the youngster to be brought down and City awarded a penalty. Tilio stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his low, driven effort missed to the right of the post.
Whilst Hume may have thought they’d gotten away with one early, City wouldn’t be denied for much longer. The 20th minute saw Pucciarelli fed into the box from midfield before whipping in a low cross for Leckie to slam into the back of the net from close range, rewarding City for its early dominance with a 1-0 scoreline.
From there, the visiting team continued to have the majority of possession and territorial dominance, allowing them to control the tempo of the contest.
Hume’s young keeper Lucas Trenkovski came up big for his side with a double save in the 39th minute to deny Leckie a first-half brace, with that moment proving to be City’s best chance over the remainder of the opening 45.
The early stages of the second half saw some frantic end-to-end action, with good saves from both keepers and even the woodwork, with Hume’s Mitch Cooper striking the outside of the upright following a dangerous ball in from teammate Bingham.
Borges Rodrigues was lively for City all match and showed his quality again in the 69th minute when he received inside the area, squared up his defender and created space for the shot, though he couldn’t score the goal that his effort deserved, only able to strike the crossbar instead.
Whilst City accumulated several good chances over the remaining quarter of the game, none came close enough to test Trenkovski again, with the final scoreline remaining 0-1 in the visitors’ favour.
The win secured City’s passage to the FFA Cup quarter-finals and put the team in good stead for its next A-League Men match against Western United on Saturday. With many of City’s more senior players now well-rested having not taken part in any midweek football, Saturday’s squad should also be refreshed and eager to secure an important win at home. Click here to get your tickets!