NPL Report: Pascoe Vale 2-4 City

Melbourne City FC has returned to the winner’s list with a 4-2 win over Pascoe Vale FC in the NPL2 on Friday night. 

City came from behind on two occasions at CB Smith Reserve to secure a vital three points. 

Team news 

After being forced into a number of changes due to international duty and club departures against Brunswick City SC the week before, Head Coach Crisdion Krstevski stuck with the same starting XI. 

Harry Politidis and Xavier Stella replaced Justin Paolilli and Kasra Karamad on the bench. 

Starting XI: 90. William Sparrow (GK), 2. Dom FOLINO, 4. Joshua DAMEVSKI, 5. Jordan DELLIDIS (C), 38. James RALLIS, 16. Emile PEIOS, 24. Alec BECVINOVSKI, 43. Marcus HUMBERT, 44. Tobenna OBANI, 46. Medin MEMETI, 99. Giorgio SERDENES. 

Substitutes:  1. James NIEUWENHUIZEN (GK), 12. Harry POLITIDIS, 14. Taylan UNAL, 21. Ben MAZZEO, 46. Ryan KALMS, 66. Xavier STELLA. 

What happened? 

Looking to bounce back from late heartbreak against Brunswick City SC in Round 17, City’s NPL2 side faced Pascoe Vale under Friday night lights at CB Smith Reserve. 

With both teams vying for an important three points, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock as they pounced on a turnover before Assumpcao struck the opener with fierce long-range effort. 

City looked to bounce back and went inches away from levelling the scoreboard when Tobenna Obani’s brilliant first touch saw him through on goal, but his shot from the edge of the area deflected just wide. 

In the 41st minute, Krstevski’s team were rewarded for their constant attacking threat as 15-year-old Medin Memeti lost his man and slid the ball home from close range following a wonderful run down the right wing to level the scores 1-1. 

Despite City’s threat and ability to equalise, the hosts were quick to respond as Roberts made it 2-1 in favour of Pascoe Vale in the last minute of regulation time in the first half. 

With a big second half fightback needed, Krstevski looked to his bench. Entering the pitch for the second 45, Harry Politidis had an immediate impact on the match. 

The momentum continued to shift in City’s favour, as the Pascoe Vale keeper was called into action on several occasions. 

Xavier Stella made his debut, coming off the bench on the 60th minute mark to replace Alec Becvinovski. 

With half an hour to play, City equalised as Marcus Humbert’s brilliant header at the back post looped over the keeper’s head to make it 2-2. With the hosts on the back foot, City looked to continue piling on the pressure. 

As the scores were level, there were half chances at both ends before City made it 3-2, 10 minutes after finding the equaliser. Making it two goals in two weeks, it was Tobenna Obani with a clinical finish. Sustained pressure forced an errant pass from the Pascoe Vale defender and Obani made no mistake, firing it past the keeper.

Looking to respond to falling behind, the hosts pushed for an equaliser only to be denied by a brilliant diving save from City shot-stopper William Sparrow. As they continued to push forwards, it was City who struck to make it 4-2 and secure the three points with a clinical counterattack. Emile Peios dropped his shoulder, sending his defender sliding, before calmly finishing with a cheeky finish. 

What’s next? 

City will look to make it back-to-back wins in the NPL2 when they take on Preston Lions FC at the Veneto Club on Friday 23 June, kick-off 8:30pm. 


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