Melbourne City FC continued its impressive pre-season with a big win over NPL Victoria opponents North Geelong Warriors on Friday night. Here’s what we learned from the clash in Port Melbourne.
Sorensen a commanding presence between the posts.
After a distinguished career totalling over 350 matches in the English Premier League, very few people would have imagined goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen playing in a friendly match in Port Melbourne.
Despite being rarely tested in his first outing in Australian football, City’s new shot-stopper was an imposing presence in between the posts, recycling possession with some neat passes and commanding his penalty area with authority.
It was an impressive first outing for Sorensen – who was replaced at half-time by Tando Velaphi – but the big Dane is set to face much sterner tests in the weeks leading up to the Hyundai A-League season.
Marino scores a cracker.
With the Club’s attacking stocks firing on all cylinders in pre-season, young striker Marc Marino provided Head Coach John van’t Schip with a timely reminder of his ability with an energetic display against North Geelong.
Playing alongside Bruno Fornaroli, the 19-year old was a constant menace in attack, terrorising the Warriors defence with a series of darting runs before opening the scoring in the 15th minute with a thunderbolt from long range.
An impressive performance was somewhat soured through injury towards the end of the first period, but the signs are ominous for Marino as he looks to break into the first-team this season.
Youngsters provide second-half masterclass.
With City dominating proceedings and holding a 1-0 advantage into the half-time break, van’t Schip provided an opportunity for the Club’s youngsters to shine by sending out a youthful second half XI.
And they certainly did not disappoint, as City opened the floodgates with an impressive display of football which yielded four goals.
Stefan Mauk was industrious in an advanced midfield position, providing two assists and scoring from the penalty-spot during an inspiring 45-minute cameo, while Christopher Cristaldo and Wade Dekker also found the back of the net in attack.
With Ali Eyigun, Stefan Zinni and trialist Callum Richardson all getting minutes in the first half, City’s young guns are gaining some valuable first-team experience ahead of the new season.
Five a popular score line.
After emphatically dismantling the Wellington Phoenix in the FFA cup only two weeks ago, City continued its rampant goalscoring form with another five goal performance against the Warriors.
With midfielder Aaron Mooy top scoring with seven of the Club’s 36 goals last Hyundai A-League season, van’t Schip will be pleased to see the variety of goal scorers in pre-season thus far, with nine different players finding the back of the net in the last two matches.
With Corey Gameiro, David Williams and Harry Novillo still to return after missing Friday night’s clash, the goals may keep flowing well into the regular season.
Attention turns to Oakleigh.
City will look to continue its impressive pre-season form when the Club travels to the eastern-suburbs on Wednesday night to face NPL Victoria side Oakleigh Cannons at Jack Edwards Reserve.
Despite finishing the NPL Victoria in an underwhelming 11th position, the Cannons may be focused on reaching the Semi-Finals of the Westfield FFA Cup, when they take on NPL rivals Hume City on September 22nd.
With former A-League players Steve Pantelidis, Sean Rooney, Matt Foschini, Kofi Danning and Mirjan Pavloic in their ranks, expect Arthur Pappas’ men to come out firing in what promises to be an exciting pre-season encounter.