A quick-fire pair of goals from David Williams and Mate Dugandzic helped end Melbourne City FC’s four-match winless streak, rocketing the Club to a 3-1 win over reigning Hyundai A-League champions Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.
Two early goals from Williams and Dugandzic had John van’t Schip’s side flying inside the first 10 minutes.
Roar fought its way back into the contest and snatched an opportunistic goal through substitute Brandon Borello with 27 minutes remaining. But Melbourne City’s own teenage substitute Marc Marino sealed the match with a great, late counter-attacking goal in the 83rd minute.
The win handed John van’t Schip’s side its first win of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season, and lifts the Club to sixth on the ladder – with five points from five matches.
While that points tally surely won’t yet please van’t Schip, Saturday night’s win over the reigning A-League champions was an important one.
The manner in which his side won was even more promising; with his side showing character to hold onto a 2-1 lead under immense pressure from Brisbane, before sealing the result with a late goal, while a number of players registered strong displays.
van’t Schip was influential in the result, with the injection of three second-half substitutes, Jacob Melling, James Brown and goal-scorer Marino, proving influential in the final outcome of the match.
Aaron Mooy registered another superb performance for Melbourne City – justifying his call-up to the national team during the week – while ‘keeper Andrew Redmayne had an outstanding night between the sticks against his former club.
van’t Schip was forced into a re-structure due to the loss of Jonatan Germano (hamstring) and Massimo Murdocca (groin) through injury, giving Paulo Retre an opportunity to start in midfield, while Iain Ramsay was re-instated at left-back and David Williams commenced as central striker.
It was a cautious opening for both sides but Brisbane threatened first through a long-range Luke Brattan shot, with his dipping effort forcing Redmayne to tip over the bar.
But that threat was short-lived when Melbourne City hit the home side with a sucker-punch, notching the opener after some opportunistic work from Williams in the 9th minute.
Williams made a nuisance of himself following an aerial ball from Patrick Kisnorbo, proving a handful for Brisbane defenders Jade North and Jack Hingert and found space in the box to receive a Dugandzic past, trap and shoot all in the one motion, and hand Melbourne City the lead with a low-left footed strike past Roar ‘keeper Jamie Young.
A minute later Dugandzic went from provider to scorer, collecting a defence-splitting through-ball from former Brisbane Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu before firing a low strike under Young.
While Young had been beaten twice up one end, it was Redmayne who was standing tall at the other, first denying Steven Lustica’s near-post shot with a brilliant reaction save, after great build-up from Shane Stefanutto and Thomas Broich.
Melbourne City had Redmayne to thank for protecting its 2-0 lead at the break but required his services in the second half as Brisbane emerged the more eager side in the early stages of the second half.
Midfielder Matt McKay was the first Roar player to try his luck, forcing another great reaction stop from the Melbourne City custodian.
Young then had his opportunity to match it with Redmayne’s efforts, as Melbourne City substitute Jacob Melling – with his first introduction to the match – played a one-two with Williams before cracking a great effort on target, only for Young to tip over.
But Brisbane continued to turn the heat on van’t Schip’s side and while Borrello’s effort was opportunistic, it had been coming.
A miss-directed shot from McKay in the 67th found the head of Borrello who reacted quickest and headed over a helpless Redmayne.
Melbourne City refused to let Brisbane snatch an equaliser and a point, as Mooy went on the hunt, first powering a great strike towards Young’s top corner, but the Brisbane ‘keeper swatted it away for a corner.
However, Mooy provided the killer blow, pirouetting out of a challenge in midfield before supplying a perfect through-ball to Brown on the left-wing and Brown’s cross to the six-yard box was inch-perfect for the onrushing Marino to tuck home the sealer.
It could have been four just minutes later, as man of the match Mooy curled a fantastic effort onto the Roar cross bar.
Hyundai A-League Round 5
Saturday, 8 November 2014
Brisbane Roar 1 (Brando BORELLO 67’)
Melbourne City FC 3 (David WILLIAMS 9’, Mate DUGANDZIC 10’, Marc MARINO 83’)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Kris GRIFFITH-JONES