Melbourne City FC made the perfect start to the 2017/18 A-League season as Bruce Kamau’s double secured a 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Kamau, who wreaked havoc among the Brisbane defence all night alongside debutant Ross McCormack and the returning Stefan Mauk, fired City into the lead on the stroke of half-time with a well-placed finish from outside the area.
The winger then beat Michael Theo again fifteen minutes from time, poking the ball home via a deflection to ensure Warren Joyce’s start to life in the A-League began with an important three points.
It was a successful night at the office for City’s new boys. McCormack was lively throughout, as was Mauk in the middle of the park, while Iacopo La Rocca, Eugene Galekovic and Bart Schenkeveld displayed steel at the back on the way to a deserved clean sheet.
The first home match of the season is always a special occasion for fans. For City, there was a sense of elevated anticipation in light of the Club’s first home opener since 2010 and the debut of striker McCormack; the man tasked with deputising for injured talisman Bruno Fornaroli.
The Scottish striker, who arrived in Melbourne with considerable goal-scoring pedigree and a point to prove, wasted no time in making an impact as City began the contest on the front foot.
A neat lay-off paved the way for Mauk to fire an early opportunity wide, who earlier grazed a header just over the bar following a neat-flick on from another debutant in Bart Schenkeveld.
Up the other end, the Roar had a glorious chance to silence the home crowd in the 21st minute as a searing effort from Nicholas D’Agostino smashed the outside of the post, while Peter Skapetis flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal only moments later in the visitors two glaring opportunities of the half.
McCormack came close to breaking the deadlock in the 40th minute but couldn’t keep his shot down from Manny Muscat’s fizzed cross, but City’s reaped the rewards for its dominance late in the half as Kamau coolly slotted from outside the penalty area on the stroke of half-time.
The second half saw chances few and far between for both sides, until that man Kamau popped up with the sealer 15 minutes from time to cap off a well-crafted team move.
McCormack got the ball rolling with a neat pass to the marauding Nick Fitzgerald, whose expert cut-back was bundled home by Kamau via the outstretched leg of an unfortunate Brisbane defender.
Joyce then opted to shore up the midfield and defence late on with the introduction of marquee Marcin Budzinski and Scott Jamieson, who helped City close out the match and begin the season with an important three points.
It’s the big one. City rivalries are rekindled for another season as Warren Joyce’s side prepare for another massive Melbourne Derby on Saturday 14 December, kick-off at 7:50pm.
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Hyundai A-League Round 1
Melbourne City FC 2 (Bruce KAMAU 45’ 75’)
Brisbane Roar 0
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne City FC: 18. Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK), 5. Bart SCHENKEVELD, 25. Iacopo LA ROCCA, 22. Michael JAKOBSEN, 6. Osama MALIK, 26. Luke BRATTAN, 13. Stefan MAUK (12. Braedyn CROWLEY 90+1), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 11. Bruce KAMAU, 44. Ross McCORMACK (27. Marcin BUDZINSKI 82’) 7. Nick FITZGERALD (3. Scott JAMIESON 82’)
Substitutes not used: 1. Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 9. Marcelo CARRUSCA
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (GK), 5. Corey BROWN, 6. Avram PAPADOPOULOS (3.Luke DE VERE 89’), 9. Massimo MACCARONE, 13. Jade NORTH, 14. Fahid BEN KALFALLAH (16. Mitchell OXBORROW 79’), 17. Matthew McKAY, 26. Nicholas D’AGOSTINO (25. Rahmat AKBARI 83’), 18. Joe CALETTI, 19. Jack HINGERT, 33. Peter SKAPETIS
Substitutes not used: 21. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 24. Connor O’TOOLE
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