A comprehensive 4-1 win over 10-man Western Sydney Wanderers secured Melbourne City FC passage to the FFA Cup Semi Finals for the second consecutive season on Wednesday night.
Headlined by goals to Bruno Fornaroli, Tim Cahill, Danish debutant Michael Jakobsen and Argentine Fernando Brandan, John van’t Schip’s side cruised through its Quarter Final encounter, celebrating a return to AAMI Park in emphatic fashion.
It took just two minutes into Jakobsen’s debut for him to open his account in sensational style.
Bruce Kamau drew a foul on the right wing, before Luke Brattan stepped up to fire in a dangerous free-kick which was only half-cleared by the Wanderers’ ‘keeper Andrew Redmayne.
The ball ricocheted nicely to Jakobsen who produced a fantastic overhead kick into the empty net to give City an early lead.
City almost doubled its advantage in the ninth minute when Luke Brattan's whipped corner was met by a diving Tim Cahill header in the six-yard box, but the effort was saved by Redmayne.
The home side had the ball in the net again in the 14th minute when Wanderers midfielder Dimas Delgado was pickpocketed by City’s star Uruguayan striker Fornaroli.
However, after a cheeky chip past Redmayne and into the Wanderers goal, referee Jarred Gillet adjudged Fornaroli to have fouled Dimas in the lead up.
Wanderers’ first chance came in the 20th minute when Mitch Nichols broke City’s defensive line but his last touch was too heavy and Thomas Sorensen was quick off his line to smother Nichols’ attempted chip.
From the resulting corner, Japanese winger Jumpei Kusukami collected a short corner on the edge of the area, and drove a powerful shot which Sorensen was forced to parry out with strong hands.
City had its well-deserved second when Brattan fed Kamau through on goal and the speedy winger’s cross was parried by Redmayne, but only as far as Cahill at the back post.
The Socceroos forward steered a perfect ball into the path of Fornaroli who was on hand to guide the ball into the bottom corner with a deft touch.
Osama Malik needed to make a sublime intervention to prevent Nichols’ dangerous centre from reaching Kerem Bulut, who had otherwise been kept quiet by City’s Jakobsen.
City made it three on the stroke of half time when a ball from Malik split the Wanderers’ midfield and Cahill’s back-heel sent Fornaroli through on goal.
The striker was through on goal, leaving Wanderers’ centre-back Nikolai Topor-Stanley with no choice but to bring down the Uruguayan sharp-shooter down in the box.
Gillett immediately pointed to the spot, awarding City a penalty and brandishing the red card, sending Topor-Stanley off.
Cahill stepped up to smash home his first goal at AAMI Park, beating Redmayne with a perfect spot-kick into the top corner.
City looked to stretch its lead as early as the fifth minute of the second half, as Fornaroli curled a superb free-kick onto the base of Redmayne’s post in the 49th minute.
Fornaroli hit the upright again in the 65th minute, connecting with a perfect cross from substitute Nicolas Colazo with his head, which was palmed onto the upright.
But this time Brandan was on hand to turn in the rebound, netting his first City goal and his side’s fourth of the evening.
The Wanderers, who created just three shots all match, scored a consolation through Dimas’ unmarked header from substitute Shannon Cole’s cross in the 73rd minute.
City progress to the Semi Finals of the competition, with match day two of the competition taking place next week.
Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Final – Match Day 1
Wednesday 21 September 2016
Melbourne City FC 4 (Michael Jakobsen 2’, Bruno Fornaroli 32’, Tim Cahill 45’, Fernando Brandan 65’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Dimas Delgado 73’)
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Melbourne City FC Squad: 1. Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Connor CHAPMAN, 6. Osama MALIK, 8. Neil KILKENNY (18. Paulo RETRE 82’), 11. Bruce KAMAU (12. Nick FITZGERALD 82, 17. Tim CAHILL (9. Nicolas COLAZO 62’), 22. Michael JAKOBSEN, 23. Bruno FORNAROLI (C), 26. Luke BRATTAN, 27. Fernando BRANDAN
Substitutes not used: 20. Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 2. Manny MUSCAT
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Western Sydney Wanderers FC Squad: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Brendan HAMILL, 6. Mitch NICHOLS (2. Shannon COLE 72’), 7. Steven LUSTICA, 8. Dimas DELGADO (22. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS 78’), 9. Kerem BULUT (15. Kearyn BACCUS 60’), 12. Scott NEVILLE, 13. Bruno PINATARES, 14. Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 17. Aritz BORDA
Substitutes not used: 1. Jerrad TYSON (GK), 28. Lawrence HANNA
Yellow Cards: Pintares 86'
Red Cards: Topor-Stanley 44’