Melbourne City FC has continued its unbeaten start to the NPL2 season, with a 6-2 win over Murray United at La Trobe University on Saturday afternoon.
Connor Metcalfe opened the scoring in the ninth minute, before the visitors hit back immediately. Moudi Najjar then went on to restore City’s lead on the cusp of half-time with a fierce low drive.
In the 47th minute, Murray United equalised, as a missed penalty was eventually bundled in by captain Ashley Dunn.
With the game on the line, City produced an emphatic final 20 minutes of play, as a brace to Ramy Najjarine was accompanied by goals to Dylan Pierias and Stefan Colakovski to run away with an impressive 6-2 margin.
Earlier in the afternoon, Petr Kratky’s U20s continued their perfect start with a 6-0 win over Murray United at the same venue.
— Melbourne City Youth – LIVE (@MelbCityYouth) February 23, 2019
In blustery conditions at La Trobe University, Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ side showcased their attacking intent early on.
Inside the opening five minutes, Moudi Najjar had the opening chance of the match following a promising build up from City. The ball fell to the attacker inside the 18-yard-box before his effort was desperately dealt with by Murray United’s defence.
It was a sign of things to come, as just four minutes later City found the breakthrough. Stefan Colakovski squeezed through a delightful through ball to Connor Metcalfe, who fired his effort in to the back of the net, following a deflection off the central defender.
Moments after taking the lead, City were forced back to square one as Murray United responded immediately to make it 1-1.
Despite conceding, City continued to press and were rewarded for their efforts four minutes from half-time. Luke Duzel slipped the ball through to Moudi Najjar, whose first-time effort struck the inside of the far post, a clinical finish from the number nine.
The second-half kicked off in dramatic fashion as Majak Mawith fouled a Murray United attacker in the penalty area. The resulting spot kick was cannoned into the crossbar, before Murray captain Ashley Dunn fired home the rebound to make it 2-2.
With 20 minutes to play and the game on the line, City lifted a gear to net four goals in 17 minutes and secure the three-points.
On the 70th minute mark, Ramy Najjarine restored City’s lead, turning on a dime in the box before finishing truly. 10 minutes later, Dylan Pierias made it 4-2 with an impressive solo effort, the wingback picked up the ball before skipping past a couple of defenders and firing the ball into the top corner from range.
With 10 minutes to play, second-half substitute Gianluca Iannucci again proved to be the super sub with two quick-fire assists. The attacker first slipped the ball through to Stefan Colakovski, who threaded the ball through the smallest of margins to extend City’s lead.
An impressive build up in the midfield, which included a string of one-touch passes was then capped off by Ramy Najjarine, who headed home from close range after meeting Iannucci’s perfectly weighted cross.
Earlier in the afternoon, the U20’s made it two from two to start the NPL season with a 6-0 win over Murray United.
City will be looking to make it three from three when they take on FC Bulleen Lions at the Veneto Club on Monday 4 March, kick-off 8:30pm.