Melbourne City prevails over Red Devils


Melbourne City FC prevailed 6-0 in its first pre-season hit out, against NPLV side Ballarat Red Devils.

Melbourne City FC prevailed 6-0 in its first pre-season hit out, against NPLV side Ballarat Red Devils at Morshead Park, Ballarat, on Wednesday night.

An early double from Mate Dugandzic had Melbourne City on its way, before Robbie Wielaert and David Williams added two more goals to see John van’t Schip’s side lead 4-0 at the break.

Van’t Schip made 11 changes at half time, sending out a new team in the second half, with triallist Billy Konstantinidis and James Brown scoring second half goals.

In wet and blustery conditions, over 1000 locals – and travelling fans who made the journey from Melbourne – braved the weather to see Melbourne City play its first pre-season match in its new blue and white training kit.

The kit was not the only new-look item at Melbourne City, with a mixture of new faces and triallists injected into the first-half line-up, alongside experienced members of last-season’s squad.

A young midfield consisting of Paulo Retre, Stefan Mauk and Aaron Mooy was supported by a back four of Jonatan Germano, Wielaert, Iain Ramsay and triallist Tom Lakic, with Tando Velaphi in goal.

The front three consisted of Ersin Kaya (triallist), Williams and Dugandzic.

It was Dugandzic who got the ball rolling with the match-s first goal in the sixth minute.

High pressing from Stefan Mauk and Paulo Retre forced the Red Devils to concede possession in their own half, with Williams squaring for Dugandzic, who rocketed a sensational left-footed strike from the edge of the area, which ricocheted in off the crossbar.

Dugandzic had his second in the 11th minute following some patient build-up involving Mooy, with the left-winger collecting the ball on the edge of the area before turning and curling a speculative shot into the top corner.

More chances fell Melbourne-s way as Kaya, Mooy, Williams and Dugandzic looked to add to the scoreline.

But Ballarat held tight, until a lapse of concentration following a corner in the 35th minute saw captain Wielaert steer home the third – a neatly timed volley at the back post.

It was 4-0 two minutes later as Dugandzic turned provider, crossing low across the face of goal for Williams to tap home from close range.

The second half saw van-t Schip introduce 11 changes, with regulars Andrew Redmayne, Jason Hoffman, Ben Garuccio, Nick Kalmar, Massimo Murdocca entering the fray, joined by Brown and Jacob Melling who made their Melbourne City debuts.

Four triallists – Konstantinidis, Anthony Rizk, Nick Symeoy and Ross Archibald also featured in the second stanza.

Rizk and Garuccio showed promise down the left side with the best chances falling to Murdocca in the 56th and 60th minutes after crosses from the left.

Brown also had two chances – including an effort which was disallowed for offside in the 67th minute – but it was Konstantinidis who finished the fifth goal of the match, heading home a cross from the left following a short corner routine.

Brown found the net a short time later, however, as Konstantinidis chested a ball down and Brown crashed a shot into the back of the net.

A minute later Melbourne City were awarded a penalty, but Kalmar-s effort from the spot was tame and the Red Devils ‘keeper collected easily, with the match finishing 6-0 to the visitors.

Match Details
Wednesday 25 June 2014
Pre-season Friendly
Ballarat Red Devils 0
Melbourne City FC 6 (Dugandzic 6-, 11-, Wielaert 35-, Williams 37-, Konstantinidis 68-, Brown 81-)
Venue: Morshead Park, Ballarat
Crowd: Approx 1200