Melbourne City FC continued its surge up the Playstation 4 NPL2 West table with an impressive 3-1 win over Moreland City at the CFA Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors looked to have set up a nervous finale when a neat finish from winger Lisandro Paz replied to first-half goals from Yusuf Ahmed and Phil Petreski.
However, it was substitute Mehdi Sarwari who made a telling contribution four minutes from time, scoring within seconds of his introduction to seal a third consecutive win for Joe Palatsides’ side.
A cagey opening to proceedings yielded plenty of possession for City, but it was Moreland who looked more threatening in the final third. Powerful striker Apai Ukuno was at the heart of all the visitors attacking moves, heading the first chance of the game wide after 20 minutes.
City were incredibly fortunate to remain level when Ukuno somehow failed to open the scoring in the 27th minute. The striker capitalised on a defensive error to steer an initial effort against the base of the post then, with an open goal at his mercy, somehow missed the target.
It was a golden chance the visitors would dearly rue as the dangerous Ahmed fired City into the lead only eight minutes later.
A neat ball from Christopher Cristaldo sent the lively Ahmed through on goal, who unleashed a thunderous effort which cannoned off the post and nestled into the back of the net.
City were riding on a wave of confidence and began to pile on the pressure in the final third. Luke Gallo sent a powerful effort just over the crossbar, while Ali Eyigun’s driven shot was thwarted by a brilliant save from Kieran McDowell.
The reward duly came right on the stroke of half-time when some fancy footwork from Ahmed drew a foul from Moreland defender Shane Carr inside the penalty area, with Petreski making no mistake from the spot to give City a 2-0 advantage at the break.
Paz finished off a neat team move in the 57th minute to give the visitors a lifeline, until Sarwari put the result beyond doubt four minutes from time, showing great composure to round McDowell and tap home into an empty net.
Melbourne City FC’s U20’s side continued their unbeaten start to the NPL2 West season, running away with a resounding 11-0 win over Moreland City.
PlayStation 4 NPL 2 West – Round 12
Saturday, 14 May 2016
Melbourne City FC 7 3 (Yusuf AHMED 34’, Phil PETRESKI 45’ [pen], Mehdi SARWARI 86')
Moreland City 1 (Lisandro PAZ 57’)
Venue: Melbourne City FC Academy Pitches, La Trobe University.
Melbourne City FC line-up: 40. Yaren SOZER (GK), 15. Bradley CLARKE, 4. Tomislav FADLJEVIC, 5. Jordon HALL, 3. Phil PETRESKI, 14. Leo ATHANASIOU, 6. Ali EYIGUN, 12. Giuseppe MARAFIOTI (Austin WONG 52’), 10. Luke GALLO (Tom BARFOROSH 70’), 7. Christopher CRISTALDO, 18. Yusuf AHMED (Mehdi SARWARI 86’)
Substitutes not used: 1. James DELIANOV, 2. Baley ROW,
Moreland City FC line-up: 16. Kieran MCDOWELL (GK), 21. Nej SAHIN, 5. Yanni AVRAMIDIS, 6. Shane CARR, 23. Erin SELE, 8. Corey THOMAS, 9. Lisandro PAZ, 14. Casey THOMAS (Anthony IANCHELLO 53’), 20. Trent RIXON (Mo KURUSCU 66’), 11. Api UKUNO, 7. Ossie KOSE (Liam BRIAN 79’)
Substitutes not used: 13. Finn HUSSEY, 12. Jack REYNOLDS,