NPL REPORT: Melbourne City FC 1-2 Melbourne Victory

Melbourne City FC NPL have been defeated by Melbourne Victory 2-1 in the first Melbourne Derby between the sides at National Premier Leagues level.

In an even contest, it was two opportune strikes from Joey Katebian that gave the visitors the three points on a wet and blustery night at CB Smith Reserve in Fawkner.

The contest began much like the two matches between the sides at Foxtel National Youth League level, with both sides having a timid start.

The match sprung into action in the 9th minute as Hernan Espindola sent his side’s first and almost only warning side of the half, forcing a strong save from Stephen Hatzikourtis in the Victory goal.

Victory worked their way into the contest thereafter, playing a direct game to George Howard and Lucas Derrick on the wings.

The home side’s only other chance in the half came through Ratip Cileli, with the midfielder spraying his chance high and wide of the Victory goal.

It was Katebian however who showed why he is one of the best forwards at NPL1 level, finding his way through the centre of the Melbourne City FC defence and slotting to the bottom right corner of City keeper Yaren Sozer’s goal.

As the boys entered the rooms at the end of the first half, a wall of rain hit CB Smith Reserve with some vigour, making the contest a more physically demanding affair.

City came out of the rooms much like the first and were punished in the 50th minute as Katebian found his second. A lobbed ball onto the edge of the penalty area was brought down by Katebian who volleyed home with a dipping strike over Sozer.

The second goal sparked Melbourne City FC into action as they looked promising in the early stages of their fightback.

The home side came closest to working their way back into the match through Stefan Zinni and Wade Dekker as both boys were unable to put significant pressure on the Victory goal in the 62nd and 67th minute respectively.

Those two chances almost summed up the home sides night, with a string of half opportunites through the right wing coming to no avail.

Two fine saves from Sozer in the last ten minutes kept his side in the contest and Dekker’s goal in the 94th minute gave the side some faint hope in the final seconds of the match however it wasn’t to be as Victory picked up the first Derby win between the sides at NPL Victoria level.

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Match Details

Saturday 18 April, 2015

NPL 1 Victoria Round 8

CB Smith Reserve, Fawkner

Melbourne City FC 1 (Dekker 90+4’)

Melbourne Victory 2 (Katebian 40’, 50’)


Melbourne City FC line up: 1. Yaren SOZER, 2. Tyler JAMES, 5. Leo ATHANASIOU, 6. Phil PETRESKI, 7. Hernan ESPINDOLA, 8. Ratip CILELI, 9. Wade DEKKER, 11. Stefan ZINNI, 13. Haralambos STAMBOULIDIS, 16. Matthew MILLAR, 19. Anthony TARANTO

Substitutes: 12. Anthony RIZK, 14. Nick MORTON, 15. Luke GALLO, 17. Joseph MONEK, 20. Yianni SKILIROS