Melbourne City will look to extend their cup run when they take on Marconi Stallions FC in the FFA Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday night.
City will travel to enemy territory for the second successive time after defeating NPL Champions Campbelltown City 3-1 in the Round of 32 at Steve Woodcock Sports Centre on the last day of July.
Potent City attacker, Jamie Maclaren opened the scoring inside the opening 11 minutes when he met Javier Cabrera’s cross with an intelligent finish at the back post. Despite a promising start to the knockout clash by the visitor’s, Campbelltown responded through experienced skipper Iain Fyfe, who made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Before long, City restored their lead as new recruit Craig Noone made a memorable start in his first competitive game for the Club, curling in a long-range effort on his left foot. Following a relatively subdued second period, City secured their passage through to the Round of 16 as Maclaren netted his brace with a glancing header from Adrian Luna’s cross.
Since then, Head Coach Erick Mombaets’ side has continued their strong pre-season run, defeating Adelaide United 1-0 in a pre-season friendly behind closed doors. In the clash, Jamie Maclaren proved to again be the match-winner, latching onto Javier Cabrera’s perfectly weighted cross with a pinpoint header.
Despite a strong start to their pre-season campaign, City face a tough test when they take on NPL New South Wales’ Marconi Stallions.
The Stallions continued their strong cup run when they defeated Tasmanian side South Hobart at Blundstone Arena in the Round of 32. In typically blustery conditions in Bellerive, Marconi’s star attacker Marko Jesic handed his side a 1-0 advantage from the penalty spot in the 36th minute. Four minutes later the visitors would double their lead as a dangerous cross led to South Hobart defender Hugh Ludford netting an unfortunate own goal.
With one minute of time left to play, Damian Tsekenis’ towering header would secure a 3-0 win and set up a knockout fixture with A-League opponents.
A strong run of cup form by the Stallions paired with a solid per-season run by City sets up a mouth-watering contest at Marconi Stadium on Wednesday night.
Experienced midfielder Rostyn Griffiths is the only player unavailable, with the 31-year-old currently recovering from a muscular issue.
What was said?
Melbourne City FC Head Coach Erick Mombaerts
“Our players want to win a trophy, for me, [the FFA Cup] is an important competition. We will go to Marconi with the strongest available XI,” he said.
“I’m very happy with the players attitudes, their performances so far and also surprised with their understanding. We need to be more comfortable under pressure, with and without the ball. To recognise different situations and quickly react to those.”
Where and when?
City take on Marconi Stallions FC in the FFA Cup Round of 16 at Marconi Stadium on Wednesday 21 August, kick-off 7:30pm.