The short turnaround saw changes to the City XI as Marcin Budzinski replaced Ross McCormack in the starting side.
A niggle for Marcelo Carrusca was picked up in training earlier in the week saw the Argentinian miss out while a short turnaround from Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier saw Tim Cahill continue his recovery in Melbourne.
Despite topping the league for goals against, City’s walls were breached after five minutes as Avraam Papadopoulos opened the scoring for the Roar.
The former Greek international nodded home from a failed Iacopo La Rocca clearance as the awkward ball saw the defender beat the advancing Eugene Galekovic to the ball.
The early setback didn’t halt City’s push forward and were nearly level after 11 minutes as Stefan Mauk squandered a tough opportunity. Nick Fitzgerald sprung the offside trap down the left side, as his strong cutback saw Mauk rocket his effort over the bar.
Mauk would have another chance to find an equaliser on 27 minutes as Fitzgerald once again opened the door in the final third. The winger dropped a neat ball to Scott Jamieson who then transferred the ball to Mauk but his effort was straight at Jamie Young.
It would be the Roar however who would double their lead just before the break as a stray pass from La Rocca was collected by Massimo Macarone. The Italian forward squandered the opportunity to take his chance on goal but he found the run of Eric Bautheac as the Frenchman side-footed his effort home to give the hosts a two-goal advantage.
Two changes at the break saw the introduction of Neil Kilkenny and Luke Brattan to the match as La Rocca and Kamau exited the contest with Head Coach Warren Joyce looking to spark his side in the second half.
City would have their first reply after 54 minutes and it was third time lucky for Mauk. A beautiful release from Brattan opened the door for Mauk to head towards goal. With no options in the middle, the youngster went in on goal himself to power home at the near post.
They almost had their second nine minutes later as a brilliant bit of hold-up play from Marcin Budzinski in the penalty area opened the door for Neil Kilkenny. The midfielder’s powerful strike was destined for the bottom corner before Young would turn the effort around the post.
The chance almost acted as a catalyst for the Roar as they went 3-1 up through a rare error from Galekovic. A floated cross into the penalty area saw the veteran fumble his effort over Papadopoulos as the defender picked up the crumbs to net his brace.
The third goal doused City’s momentum, as the Roar stumbled their way to the three points in what was a night where the opposing keeper was at the top of his game and individual errors cost the side despite being in the contest.
A full week on the track will be welcome relief for City as they prepare to take on Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Friday night. Get your tickets for the match below.