Melbourne City FC suffered its first defeat of the PlayStation 4 NPL 2 West campaign after 10-man Kingston City secured a 2-0 win on Saturday afternoon.
In blustery conditions at the CFA Melbourne, City were handed the advantage early in the second half when Kingston defender Simo Jovanovic received a straight red card for a robust challenge on Stefan Zinni.
Despite their numerical advantage, Joe Palatsides men were unable to break down a resilient Kingston defence – led by the impressive Julien Chaulet in between the posts – until Boima Karpeh stunned the home side in the 73rd minute with the opening goal against the run of play.
The imposing Karpeh completed his quick-fire double only seven minutes from time, securing a memorable win for the unbeaten visitors and consigning City to a first defeat of the campaign.
With both sides enjoying an unbeaten start to their respective campaigns, it was City who displayed its intent early with an energetic start to the opening half. Palatsides’ men were dominant in possession and had the visitors chasing shadows in the opening stages, dictating play in the middle of the park with a fluid passing game.
The first clear chance of the game fell to City, with Phil Petreski forcing Chaluet into his first important save of the afternoon, curling a free-kick which was beaten away from danger by the Kingston keeper.
Petreski was in the thick of the action early and another teasing set-piece found Jordan Hall in space at the back post, who could only blaze his effort over the crossbar.
The pace of Stefan Zinni was causing the Kingston defence all sorts of problems and the City winger was denied the opening goal by a superb one-on-one save by Chaulet, before his cross-come-shot came within a whisker of both the post and the head of Christopher Cristaldo.
Despite City’s dominance, Kingston slowly wrestled back momentum and should have opened the scoring through Velibor Mitrovic, whose placed effort sailed just wide of the target.
The visitors were afforded another golden chance in the 36th minute when a superb ball from Kostas Droutsas released Deniz Sabanovski inside the penalty area, but the Kingston attacker fired his effort wide as both sides entered the break on level terms.
City began the second half brightly and had the ball in the back of the net in the 53rd minute when Yusuf Ahmed coolly side-footed into the bottom corner, only for the goal to be chalked off for offside by the assistant referee.
But the turning point came in the 62nd minute when Jovanovic was given his marching orders for a crunching challenge on Zinni.
It was the catalyst of a frenzied period of play as City sought to capitalise on its numerical advantage, with Chaulet making a stunning point-blank save to deny Yusuf Ahmed a certain goal.
Chaulet’s heroics proved to be a critical moment in the game as the visitors stunned City only three minutes later. A neat counter-attack played Karpeh clean through on goal, who showed composure to round Yaren Sozer before tapping home into an empty net to give Kingston the lead.
It was a hammer blow from which City never fully recovered, as Karpeh completed his double with a cool finish to cap off a disappointing day for Joe Palatsides side.
PlayStation 4 NPL 2 West – Round 5
Saturday, 26 March 2016
Melbourne City FC 0
Kingston City 2 (Boima KARPEH 73’, 83’)