As we countdown to Saturday’s massive clash against Melbourne Victory, we reflect on the heroics of towering midfielder Erik Paartalu, whose golden forehead fired City to a dramatic Melbourne Derby win.
Erik Paartalu – AAMI Park, Saturday 20 December 2014
City 1-0 Victory
Buoyed by a first home league win of the season, City entered the 14th instalment of the Melbourne Derby confident of bringing its local rivals unbeaten league run to a screeching halt.
John van’t Schip’s side pressed, pushed, hassled and grafted throughout a keenly contested Derby encounter, yet were unable to capitalise on the chances created in front of goal.
Cue the heroics from Paartalu. With the game heading into the final minutes, it was the mountain midfielder who finally broke the deadlock, leaping onto Mate Dugandzic’s 90th minute cross to power his header past Nathan Coe, and send the City fans into ecstasy.
“It was good a good time to score, I’d been well marked the whole game,” Paartalu later reflected.
“The ball went from Paddy [Kisnorbo] out to Mate [Dugandzic] and it was a perfect delivery and I just managed to get on the end of it and keep it down, so it was nice to score the winner.”
To score a last gasp winner is something special, but to do it against your arch rivals is even sweeter. Ask any City fan to list their favourite Derby moments, and you can bet that Paartalu’s header is right up near the top of the tree.
Don’t miss out on the biggest show in town this Saturday at AAMI Park as City and Victory do battle in the annual Christmas Derby. Click here to secure your seat to the Derby today!