Melbourne City FC concluded its tour of Townsville with a 4-1 defeat against fellow A-League side Wellington Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
In front of a healthy crowd of 3800 at Townsville Sports Reserve, Tim Cahill scored a fantastic goal in his first start for the Club, to give City an early advantage.
However, Wellington had an impressive first 45 minutes, scoring three first-half goals, including a double from Fijian international Roy Krishna and a free-kick from Brazilian midfielder Gui Finkler.
Finkler added a second from a set piece in the second half, but City were the much better side in the second 45, leaving Head Coach John van’t Schip with a mixed reaction to the result and performance.
“A big part of what I saw [I was impressed]. Of course the score-line is not the one we are happy about and big parts of the first half that we lost I think and we addressed them at half time.
“In the second half we showed [a] totally different way of how we approach the game and I think we played some really good football.
“We didn’t really get rewarded too much, but we played the football that we wanted, we had good possession, good movements, possibilities in front of goal, so that’s what we have to take away.
After a heavy training camp, van’t Schip attributed City’s slow start to the workload imposed on the players during the week, which was designed specifically to maximise player's fitness levels heading into the A-League season.
“[The tour] has been great, the pitches have helped us, we’ve been training hard; that’s another reason maybe why the boys weren’t that sharp, but we put in a lot of work this week because it’s a camp and we want to make sure that we give them enough [load] to make them ready for the start of the season.
“Now what we have to fix is the physical part… and that’s the thing we take out of this game; we were not switched on fully.
“Again, taking away the result, I think it was a very good game we can learn from and very good parts the way we played.”
Van’t Schip said he was pleased with goal-scorer Tim Cahill’s first start and goal.
“Tim showed also the moment after [the goal] he is dangerous; the control and finish [for the goal] and after that he had another good goal that was [offside]. The positive is for Tim is that he played 60 minutes and he was an example of battling and fighting and winning his duels, so we were very pleased with his performance."
Sunday 11 September 2016
Melbourne City FC 1 (Tim Cahill 15’)
Wellington Phoenix 4 (Roy Krishna 18’, 41’, Gui Finkler 40’, 56’)
Venue: Townsville Sports Reserve, Townsville