Late drama saw Melbourne City settle for a point on Tuesday night against Perth Glory as both sides traded blows in one of the most entertaining matches of the season.
The opening minutes of the match showed early signs it was going to be a shootout at AAMI Park and Perth went agonising close to opening the scoring after three minutes.
A recycled Perth free-kick saw the City defence push up and leave Chris Harold at the back post as the attacker could only nod wide of the post yards out.
The scare sprung City into action and it didn’t take long before the home side found the opener. A double chance for Nicolas Colazo and Fornaroli saw the resulting corner converted by the Socceroos all-time scorer in signature fashion.
City were then denied their second after 18 minutes as referee Shaun Evans ruled out Cahill’s second of the night for a foul on Liam Reddy. Cahill nodded over the Glory keeper but Evans had ruled that the keeper was impeded on his path to the ball.
This opened the door for Perth to find the equaliser through Castro’s well struck effort soon after
The high tempo match was not stopping there as City regained the lead after 36 minutes. A bit of wonderful lead-up play saw the Uruguayan with space just inside the penalty area as he nestled his effort into the top corner.
City then had the chance to make it 3-1 from the spot as Bruce Kamau was taken down by Marc Warren. Fornaroli stepped up to the spot to not only see his spot kick spectacularly saved by Reddy after 38 minutes, but for Perth to then counter and Castro to find his second for the night.
The shootout continued where it left off as City regained the lead for the third time after 61 minutes. Warren’s foul on Kamau was the formula once again as Fornaroli made no mistake from the spot but the lead didn’t last long.
Three minutes later Perth restored parity through Harold as the striker slotted his effort from an acute angle to the frustration of the home players and fans around the ground.
Half chances to Kamau and substitute Denis Genreau as well as Glory Midfielder Nebojsa Marinkovic ensued before drama struck in injury time.
A clash between Dino Djulbic and Fernando Brandan saw the two sent off while Fornaroli had the chance to seal the match from the penalty spot.
For the second time, Reddy was the man to stop the Uruguayan as the save ensured both sides would have to settle for a point.
Man of the Match – Neil Kilkenny
The midfield general was at it again, pulling the strings in the middle of the park and playing an important role in the link between our defence and attack. He linked up well with Brattan during City’s spells of possession and continued to impress.
SAP Match Stats
It’s the Mariners up next for City on New Year’s Eve in a must-win battle in Gosford. Saturday’s clash will be an important match to finish the year off on a high with three matches against the lowly Mariners still yet to be played.
Tonight’s result will be tough to take when we look back but Bruno Fornaroli was back on the scoresheet and Tim Cahill notched another goal for the Club heading into an important month.