NPL Preview: City v Geelong


Melbourne City FC’s NPL3 side will look to maintain its second-place position with a positive result against Geelong SC in Round 8 action this Saturday.

The boys will be buoyed by their strong win against Whittlesea Ranges SC at home last Sunday, with 17-year-old Raphael Borges Rodrigues netting a hat-trick to secure a 3-0 victory for his side.

There were several changes from the lineup that drew 3-3 with Western United the week prior, with Borges Rodrigues replacing Max Caputo as City’s number nine, Daniel Lucente lined up at right-wing in place of Lucas Byrns, while Dom Folino took the place of Charbel Shamoon at right-back.

Borges Rodrigues opened the scoring in the 30th minute when he latched onto a Kerrin Stokes clearance that afforded him space behind the defensive line, before weaving past a defender and burying his shot under the keeper and into the back of the net.

The youngster added to his tally on the stroke of half-time, interplaying with Anthony Lesiotis in midfield before executing a perfectly-weighted chip to beat the Whittlesea keeper from well outside the area in what could go down as one of the goals of the season.

Borges Rodrigues sealed the result for City in the 53rd minute by capping off a flowing team move that began at the back with Alec Mills, before a series of a quick interchanges in the midfield lead to an opening for Moonib Adus to cross in from the left for City’s number nine to tap in from close-range.

Whittlesea regularly threatened the City goalface but couldn’t find the back of the net, with Borges Rodrigues’ clinical finishing proving the difference between the sides.

This Saturday’s clash looms as an important one in regards to the state of the NPL3 table, with 6th placed Geelong SC within reach of City, who are two points ahead of their upcoming opposition.

Last time out, Geelong were able to nab a stoppage-time winner against league-bottom Ballarat City SC, with Jacob Butler emerging as the hero for his side.

Butler’s 92nd minute strike was his second of the season, whilst Dominic Swinton leads the team with three goals.

Saturday’s fixture will be away from home at Stead Park and kicks off at 5.30pm.