Last Monday night at AAMI Park was one of the better nights I can remember for Melbourne City. The day started with the W-League semi final between City and Brisbane Roar. Much has been written about the dominant City season, winning 12 out of 12 games during the season but that almost came to nothing as Brisbane bravely held City scoreless for 120 minutes of play.
The game went to penalties with both deserving of a place in the final. As we all know penalties can be a cruel way to decide a winner and this was no different. Roar defender 18-year-old defender Angela Beard was the unlucky recipient of the crossbar as her team went down 5-4 to City. The sportsmanship shown after the game is a testament to both teams and somewhat of a forgotten art in the modern day sporting world.
Well done to both teams on their performances on Monday night, it was thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd.
Sadly I won’t be able to get along to the game Sunday afternoon but if you can make it you should head to AAMI Park and cheer the City girls on. Sydney will give them a tough fight but I think the Brisbane game provided City with the needed scare and they will be back on top of their game on Sunday.
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Wellington Phoenix was a potential banana skin as John Van’t Schip’s team has the opportunity to secure second position on the table. Thankfully the 50 minute delay had little effect on the players and Bruno Fornaroli managed to break the club record for most goals scored in a season within the first 12 minutes. City never really looked challenged during the 90 minutes and Thomas Sorensen remained a spectator for the majority of the time, including for one Bonevacia top corner special. To be fair to the Danish international no keeper would’ve been able to get to that cracking strike.
This week, City heads to Wanderland for a top of the table clash. A win here would give City top position but it won’t be an easy assignment. City has never won at Pirtek Stadium in their previous five encounters and Western Sydney wins 64% of the times when the clubs meet. Mitch Nichols will be the man to keep an eye on but Dario Vidosic is also looking a genuine threat, finally showing some interest in the 2015/16 campaign.
Former City players Brendan Hamil, Gol Gol Mebrathu and keeper Andrew Redmayne line up against their former club, Redmayne in need of a decent game to secure his spot over Liam Reddy after a below par month. Redmayne was solid in the previous games against City pulling off a handful of quality saves before Harry Novillo found an 85th minute winner.
City will be looking for another solid night defensively and we could see more game time for new recruit Osama Malik. Already gaining cult status with City supporters the former Adelaide player could be called upon to help ageing pair Patrick Kisnorbo and Aaron Hughes overcome a four day break. Aaron Mooy was quiet by his lofty standards last week but a return to his former club could spell danger for the home side if Mooy gets going.
City is putting together a quality squad this season and must be regarded as genuine contenders but we will know much more after the next three weeks with tough games against Western Sydney and the other Melbourne team. With only three points separating the top five teams games are of the upmost importance for the race for the top two positions.
Games like tonight are normally met with trepidation by City fans but there is a refreshing new outlook and a confidence sweeping through the club. No matter the result tonight fans know we have the squad more than capable of mounting a winning campaign; something that has been missing in the previous seasons.Google+