Melbourne City FC has won itself a spot in its first Hyundai A-League Grand Final in Club history!
City defeated Western United 2-0 in Wednesday night’s semi-final thanks to a pair of second half goals.
Jamie Maclaren was first to find the back of the net, scoring from the spot, before a Craig Noone corner was headed into the back of the net by Western United defender Tomoki Omai.
Western United probably had the better of the limited chances on the night but City took the lead and never looked bad.
Erick Mombaerts made three changes to the team that took on Western United last week. Craig Noone and Lachie Wales returned to the wings in place of Moudi Najjar and Stefan Colakovski, while Florin Berenguer took his place in midfield, replacing Connor Metcalfe.
Both teams had corners in the early stages, but the opening quarter of an hour served as nothing more than a feeling out period.
Neither side took control of the ascendancy as both teams were happy to work their way into the game.
City looked to have scored in the 18th minute after Jamie Maclaren found the back of the net but it was quickly ruled out for offside in the build-up play.
Just minutes later, Josh Risdon had Western United’s best chance of the first half, but Tom Glover did well to deny the long-range effort.
Max Burgess also tested Glover from range in the 38th minute, but his effort was dealt with comfortably enough.
The arm-wrestle continued for the remainder of the first 45 minutes and half-time was reached with scores still locked away at nil-all.
Florin Berenguer showed some fancy footwork in the box early in the second half to beat his man before shooting at goal, but his effort flew wide.
Western United looked the better of the two for long periods in the second half, and also had the first five shots on target of the game.
Despite City being on the back foot, Aaron Calver brought Jamie Maclaren down in the box in the 66th minute and the referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Maclaren made no mistake with his penalty, going low to the right of Filip Kurto to open scoring.
After taking the lead City looked to take a more defensive approach which saw Scott Galloway replace Lachie Wales to further bolster the defence.
Despite it seeming like Mombaerts men would be happy to run out the clock and take a 1-0 win, the lead was doubled in the 84th minute.
Craig Noone put in a perfectly placed corner which ended up in the back of the net off of a Western United defender after first seeming to come off the head of Richard Windbichler.
Windbichler then found himself right in the middle of the action minutes later, clearing the ball off his own goal-line to deny Western United.
United continued to press hard in the final minutes in an attempt to get back into the game but Glover and City’s defence held strong to secure a spot in the grand final.
City will now play in its first ever A-League grand final! The grand final will be played at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday night with kick off at 6:30pm. City will play the winner of the Sydney FC v Perth Glory semi-final.