Melbourne City FC have suffered their first loss of the NPL1 West season going down to FC Bulleen Lions on Monday night.
Second half strikes to Billy Romas and Bardhi Hysoli secured the result for the home side with Joe Montemurro’s men missing the opportunity to head to the summit of the table
Melbourne City FC started both Marc Marino and Stefan Mauk at David Barro Stadium with the senior listed players looking to get game time ahead of the final stages of the Hyundai A-League.
A high tempo first half saw both sides spurn chances with Marc Marino going closest in the opening stages. Bulleen looked dangerous on the counter and held Melbourne City FC well, working their way into the contest after the 15 minute mark.
The ever-present Takanori Nishimoto looked dangerous for the Lions when the ball was at his feet and forced Yaren Sozer into his first save of the match, trying to beat the Melbourne City FC goalkeeper at his near post.
It was all Bulleen for the rest of the first half and they were nearly rewarded in the 33rd minute as Romas sprung the offside trap however his shot was straight at Sozer.
The second half got underway much like the first, with Melbourne City FC coming out of the blocks early.
Hernan Espindola had his side’s first chance to take the lead as a wonderful ball by Stefan Zinni found the diminutive winger free at the back post. Espindola looked to head across the goalkeeper however his mistimed header looped over the crossbar.
Melbourne City FC looked to grab the ascendency in the match and and were in on goal once again as Zinni’s volley stung the palms of Luke Gallo in the Bulleen goal.
However against the run of play, Bulleen took the lead. Much like his first half opportunity, Romas beat the Melbourne City FC offside trap once again, finding himself one on one with Sozer in the 52nd minute. The striker made no mistake this time, tucking away to give his side the lead.
The home side doubled their lead ten minutes later after a dangerous cutback was cleared into the path of Hysoli who took a touch on the edge of the area and made no mistake, burying his side's second for the night.
The goal saw Bulleen sit back in their own half for the rest of the match, forcing Melbourne City FC to play through the tight defensive blocks.
After a string of late corners, Montemurro’s men left the Veneto Club empty handed, missing the opportunity to head to the top of the NPL1 West ladder.
In the Under 20’s, Melbourne City FC went down 1-0 to suffer their first loss of the season.