Melbourne City has seen a late free-kick mar an even contest at CFA Melbourne as they were defeated by Adelaide United 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
An opener from Stefan Mauk after 60 minutes was cancelled out by a Geroge Blackwood penalty ten minutes later as Jordan O’Doherty netted the 120th minute winner from a dead ball in the modified 3x40minute period match in Bundoora.
Melbourne’s cold snap greeted both sides in Melbourne’s north with wind and rain varying in vast degrees pelting the players for 120 minutes of the match.
It was a lacklustre opening from both sides as the two battled in the middle third of the ground with either keeper playing a role in the opening stages.
The Reds would have the opening chance of the match as a long ball from Isaias travelled with the win over the City defence as Johan Absalonsen met the raking pass first. His volleyed chip would not fool Dean Bouzanis, with the keeper alert to the danger.
It was all City though after the opening chance and Scott Jamieson was the man who was in the thick of the action for the final chances of the period.
Jamieson would be involved in a brilliant bit of combination play with Neil Kilkenny as the midfielder’s back-heeled pass saw the number three hit his effort first time, stinging the palms of the keeper.
He was also instrumental in a quick set piece before the break as Neil Kilkenny’s quick release saw the left footer cross into the penalty area with the Reds scrambling to clear. The scuffed clearance would fall into the path of Stefan Mauk who could only volley into the palms of Paul Izzo.
City would have the final and best chance of the first third as a pinpoint Manny Muscat cross would meet the late run of Kilkenny who thundered a volley towards goal. A sharp stop from Izzo denied the midfielder as Mauk would yet again see the follow up not trouble the keeper.
The second third began much like the first, with both teams easing their substitutes into the game’s match speed.
It was after 60 minutes though that City would find the opener as a slip in the United defence opened the door for Stefan Mauk to be one-on-one with Izzo. It was third time lucky for Mauk, as he finished with aplomb past the shot stopper.
The goal sparked the Reds to be more positive with the ball and they were rewarded as the dangerous Karim Matmour was taken down in the penalty area. Substitute Blackwood would step up to the spot to tuck the 70th minute equaliser away, sending Bouzanis the wrong way in the process.
Legs looked heavy for both sides heading into the final third of the contest and chances were few and far between until a foul after 120 minutes opened the door for the result to change.
O’Doherty stepped up to the dead ball just outside the area, sending his free-kick into the top corner on the keeper’s side, to give the Reds the advantage in the contest.
City now look towards the Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Finals next week where they take on Sydney FC on Wednesday 13 September at Leichhardt Oval, kick-off 7.30pm.
Melbourne City: Dean BOUZANIS, Manny MUSCAT, Scott JAMIESON, Bart SCHENKEVELD, Nick FITZGERALD, Neil KILKENNY, Bruce KAMAU, Stefan MAUK, Denis GENREAU, Michael JAKOBSEN, Iacopo LA ROCCA
Subs: James DELIANOV (GK), Yaren SOZER (GK), Braedyn CROWLEY, Daniel ARZANI, Ruon TONGYIK, Ramy NAJJARINE, Dylan PIERIAS, Marcello CARRUSCA (T), Christian CAVALLO (T)
Adelaide United: Paul IZZO (GK), Michael MARRONE, Taylor REGAN, ISAIAS, Baba DIAWARA, Karim MATMOUR, Johan ABSALONSEN, Nathan KOSTANDOPOULOS, Nikola MILEUSNIC, Ersan GULUM, Ryan KITTO
Subs: Daniel MARGUSH (GK), Vince LIA, Mark OCHIENG, George BLACKWOOD, Lachlan BROOK, Jordan ELSEY, Jordan O’DOHERTY, Ryan STRAIN, Paul WILSON, Kristin KOSTANDOPOULOS, Blake CARPENTER