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Published June 20, 2021 at 05:22:27

Semi Final Match Report: City 2-0 Macarthur

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Melbourne City FC has advanced to the A-League Grand Final for the second consecutive season with an inspiring 2-0 win over Macarthur FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Stefan Colakovski and Marco Tilio fired home less than two minutes apart to ensure the Premiers would make it to the final day of the season.

Starting XI

Coach Patrick Kisnorbo faced an uncertain week with injury clouds hovering over City wingers Andrew Nabbout and Craig Noone, whilst Rostyn Griffiths had also been withdrawn early in the loss to the Jets.
Griffiths was given the all clear and returned to the centre of defence, whilst Andrew Nabbout was unable to get up for the match. Craig Noone provided the pre-match drama, initially named on the bench but coming up short in the warm-up, replaced at the last minute by Raphael Borges-Rodrigues.
Nathaniel Atkinson returned to the starting line-up via the wing, forming a youthful front three with Tilio and Colakovski.

What happened?

A cagey first half saw a relatively even game, City looking in control but struggling to create chances across the front.
An error on half an hour gifted Charles M’Mombwa a one-on-one opportunity for the Bulls, the Macarthur winger rounding the keeper and firing goal-ward. It was only some sublime defending from City’s Portuguese wall Nuno Reis that denied the Bulls the opener, the centre back diverting his run behind the keeper and sliding in for the all-important clearance.

Two more chances for the Bulls saw Aleksander Susnjar go close with a headed chance and Ivan Franjic cannon one onto the crossbar from distance, but the score was to remain as it started going into the break.
Nathaniel Atkinson went closest for City with a gorgeous run down the right in the dying moments of the half, the retiring Mark Milligan all that stood between Atkinson and the back of the net.

City started hotly in the second stanza and just 9 minutes in the duck was broken as Tilio drove to the byline and cut an inch-perfect ball across the box to the onrushing Colakovski. The man that grew up a boyhood fan of the club was in the right place at the right time to thump home the opener, and just seconds after the restart latched on to a ball over the top with aplomb to create a second key moment in as many minutes.
The expert touch opened the door for Tilio who was tearing down the left-hand channel, scorer turning provider and vice-versa as Colakovski’s square pass was coolly finished by Tilio in front of a large contingent of friends and family.

The designated home team made their first changes after 69 minutes, and it was Captain Fantastic Scott Jamieson making way for Ben Garuccio. Jamieson achieved a monumental milestone for the Club during the fixture, his 104th match for Melbourne City making him the most capped player in the Club’s history.

Both sides had half chances in the final 20 minutes as the game drew to its conclusion but a resolute City defence held on to the scoreline to record a 2-0 victory.
It was an inspiring win on many fronts as a Melbourne side ravaged by injury, Socceroos duty and logistical dramas rallied in a backs-against-the-wall performance to book their place in next week’s season decider.

What’s next?

Stay tuned to melbournecityfc.com.au for all the latest updates on venues, tickets and news ahead of the big one.

GF