Over the last few seasons Melbourne City has been known for entertaining and attacking football. The squad stuck true to the script for the first 58 minutes against a depleted Wellington Phoenix.
At times City was like a cat toying with a mouse, and it was exhilarating viewing. New signings Nicholas Colazo, Fernando Brandan and Bruce Kamau interacted well and the ball movement brought a smile to the face of many City fans.
Fast forward to the 58th minute and City reminded everyone just what they are capable of, and why the struggle is real. A disastrous back pass from experienced defender Josh Rose put keeper Thomas Sorensen under pressure and forced the Danish shop stopper to rush out for the impending ball. Unfortunately for City (and Sorensen) he flailed at the ball whilst blunting the defence but in the process his left arm made contact with the ball. Referee Peter Green was left with little choice but to give Sorensen his marching orders. This not only left City a man down for the remaining 32 minutes (plus 7 minutes stoppage time), but missing their number one keeper for the all important Melbourne derby next week.
What ensued over the next 40 minutes is better off not spoken about as City used countless time wasting techniques whilst defending a wave of attacks from the Phoenix.
Previous City teams would’ve found a way to concede an equaliser or even lose the game but somehow we managed to hold on and collect what could be a very important three points. Maybe this team is different…
We had to dig deep at the end but we got the result we deserved. Great to get off the mark with three points, now on to the next one!
— Neil Kilkenny (@killa_kilkenny) October 8, 2016
Captain Bruno Fornaroli led from the front with some steely determination in keeping the ball at the right end of the pitch but couldn’t sustain the Nix pressure alone. One goal seemed to be enough this time around against the Nix but you cannot help feel the result could’ve been different if they were at full strength. An important intervening save from Dean Bouzanis blunted the best chance the Nix had, although a fraction of a second later City could’ve been down to nine men and without a recognised keeper in goal.
City now exit stage left, grab some duty free on the way home and start preparing for a Melbourne derby that should also be the debut of Tim Cahill. Sadly we will play the role of the visitor and will most likely be swamped by Victory supporters at the soulless Etihad Stadium.
Three points is three points and whilst it wasn’t pretty we got the job done.
City Views Player of the Season
Please note vote will be awarded in respect to how many points we picked up in that game, and will be distributed as we see fit.
Points available: Three
1 – Dean Bouzanis
1 – Luke Brattan
1 – Bruce Kamau
The road ahead
Saturday 15th October – Away to Melbourne Victory
Friday 21st October – Home to Perth Glory
Tuesday 25th October – Away (at our home) to Melbourne Victory (FFA CUP Semi Final)Google+