Melbourne City FC was in competitive action for the first time of season 2022/23 on Tuesday night, defeating Newcastle Olympic in the Australia Cup Round of 32.
City Academy product Luke Oresti’s first senior goal was ultimately the difference as Patrick Kisnorbo’s squad secured its spot in the final 16.
Kisnorbo named a strong line-up for his team’s first proper clash of season 2022/23, with the likes of Curtis Good, Florin Berenguer and Jamie Maclaren all involved.
Notable absentees from the squad were Aiden O’Neill, Andrew Nabbout and Richard van der Venne.
O’Neill continues to track well in his rehab from a foot injury sustained late last season, while Nabbout and van der Venne are sidelined with short-term niggles.
In a sign of things to come, it was Oresti who had the first chance for City, although the winger would see his tame effort comfortably saved.
Good had a chance for a rare goal in the 14th minute following a flick-on from his central defensive partner, Nuno Reis, but was unable to turn his effort goalward.
Although there were no huge chances in the opening 25 minutes or so of action, it was certainly City who looked the better of the two teams, dominating all the possession.
Oresti came right into the game at the half hour mark, first with a good chance on goal himself, before teeing up Tilio just minutes later.
He was rewarded for his hard-work in the 41st minute, getting his name on the scoresheet for the first time in a senior fixture for City.
Berenguer’s cross caused issues for the Olympic defence, with keeper Adam Pearce getting a hand to the initial effort but only putting it into Oresti’s path, who did what needed to be done and cooly tapped home over the goal line.
Skipper Scott Jamieson played a lovely ball to Berenguer on the stroke of halftime, but while the Frenchman did make Pearce work, City would not see its advantage doubled before the break.
After enjoying a mostly uneventful first half, City goalkeeper Tom Glover was quickly called into action, denying Newcastle forward Kent Harrison the equaliser with a sharp early save in the second half.
Glover was again made to work in the 58th minute, but answered the call to ensure City would stay ahead.
Newcastle looked a changed outfit in the second half, and put in a much better performance, but City still had a great chance to kill off the game in the 72nd minute.
Bos continued to cause issues for Olympic down the left wing, and spotted Caputo in space in the box, teeing up the young striker but unfortunately he could only blaze over the bar from close range.
Good was forced into a crucial clearance from a cross in the 77th minute, while Glover continued to remain strong in goal through the final stages of the encounter as City saw out a 1-0 win.
City will learn its Round of 16 opponent in tomorrow night’s live draw following the final Round of 32 fixtures.