Melbourne City has at least managed to claim being the strongest team in Melbourne as they won their elimination final at AAMI Stadium on Sunday night. It continued Perth Glory’s slide as they fell again, losing 2-1 to Melbourne City.
The result makes it just the second time that Victory has not been the top side in Melbourne, and the first time since the 2011-12. It gives City back some form as they go to a semi-final and seek some revenge against premiers Adelaide United.
It was an end-to-end start to the match as the two sides went out for the match, throwing caution to the wind, despite this match being an elimination match. And it was Melbourne City who thought they opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Bruno Fornaroli managed a great touch to keep the ball alive, allowing Ben Garuccio to hit the back of the neck but he was denied for being offside.
But Melbourne City kept up the attack and in the 21st minute they had a great opportunity to hit the opening goal. Anthony Caceres linked up perfectly with Fornaroli who looked to get a shot away but Perth Glory swarmed back to manage the clearing tackle.
Perth Glory’s first clear chance came in the 26th minute when Krisztian Vadovz was able to create space from outside the box. He hit a powerful shot but unfortunately sent it right at the keeper, keeping the match scoreless.
After the physicality ramped up a stunning goal finally broke the deadlock, five minutes from time through Fornaroli. He was able to hold off his opponent, see the ball bounce and hit a stunning bicycle that left Ante Covic with no chance and giving City a 1-0 lead at half-time.
At the half, Perth looked to shift to attack, bringing on Dino Djulbic on for Alexander Grant in an effort to have more chances. And they had the first just three minutes on as a Thomas Sorensen parry only found Gyorgy Sandor who was left with an open net but shot it high and wide.
It was a complete change from Perth Glory in the second half as they came out determined to pull a goal back and make a match of it. But the Melbourne City defense was proving too strong, with Sorensen being especially watchful as he claimed everything that came near him.
Perth were continuing their attacks and in the 66th minute they had another chance when Andy Keogh was played through, but was denied by the offside flag. Melbourne City quickly countered as Aaron Mooy made a long run to goal but his curling effort curled away from the goal.
The match was all but wrapped up in the 76th minute when Melbourne City was able to score their second goal. It came from a free-kick which Fornaroli curled around the wall, beating Ante Covic and hitting the back of the net.
That left Glory with little time to act, needing two goals, they threw all the men forward but they just could not get the job done. The win sends City to the semi-final taking them to a rematch with Adelaide United, that cost them the premiership, giving it to Adelaide United and should be a tough match on Friday.