Melbourne City’s National Premier Leagues side continued their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday defeating a strong Moreland Zebras outfit 3-0 and CFA’s Academy Pitches.
Joe Palatsides’ chargers made light work of the high-flying Zebras with Phil Petreski finding the back of the net from a set piece in the first half before two goals after the break from Bradley Clarke and Chris Cristaldo secured the three points.
Moreland began the better of the two sides with a free-kick into the side netting and a brilliant one-on-one save from Yaren Sozer denying the Zebras after 15 minutes.
City began to turn the pendulum of power their way and Yusuf Ahmed’s header from a Petreski cross kissed the top of the crossbar as the home side awoke from its slumber.
After a period of sustained dominance, City found the breakthrough through Petreski, who saw his curling effort find the bottom corner, giving his side the lead in the 34th minute.
Palatsides’ side continued their dominance after the break as a sharp counter attack saw Stefan Zinni slam the upright from close range, delivering an early warning sign that there was more to come from City.
Steve Kuzmanovski had the first chance to double his side’s lead from the spot however the striker saw his effort saved and follow up trickle wide but it was only a matter of time before Clarke would find the elusive goal.
After a sustained period of possession, the young full-back drove through the Zebras’ midfield, playing an excellent one-two with Cristaldo and calmly slotting past the onrushing keeper to find his side’s second of the afternoon.
City then sealed the result in the last minute as a delightful pass across the penalty area from Giuseppe Marafioti met the sliding Cristaldo to cap off a dominant performance that sees City sit outright top in NPL2 West after St Albans’ loss to Moreland City on Sunday.
Our next match is in two weeks with a break for the fouth round of the FFA Cup as we take on NPL2 East’s Kingston City at CFA’s Academy Pitches on Saturday 26 March. U20’s 12:45pm, Seniors 3pm.
Melbourne City 3 (Pretreski 38′, Clarke 59′, Cristaldo 90+2′)
Moreland Zebras 0