Melbourne City FC have marched back into the top six of the Hyundai A-League after a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday evening.
In a match which saw both sides struggle to create clear cut opportunities, the decisive moment came in the 49th minute when Mate Dugandzic was fouled in the penalty area by Roar defender Daniel Bowles.
Aaron Mooy made no mistake from the penalty spot, coolly sending Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young the wrong way to give Melbourne City FC a much needed three points.
The win gave Melbourne City FC their first home win of the season, with a resolute defensive display, also securing a first clean sheet of the campaign.
In a cagey opening period, Melbourne City FC fashioned the first chance of the match in the third minute, when midfielder Mooy fired over the crossbar from long range after a neat turn and pass from James Brown.
Youngster Jacob Melling was industrious in the middle of the park for Melbourne City FC, and the midfielder came close to opening the scoring in the fifth minute after Damien Duff's cutback found him in the area, but his shot was diverted over the crossbar by Matt Smith.
With Brisbane Roar content to absorb pressure and play on the counterattack, Melbourne City FC looked to seize the initiative, with Brown heading over from a Duff cross and Melling lashing a stinging drive wide of the goal.
But the home side dodged a bullet in the 23rd minute when an excellent centre from Dimitri Petratos found Matt McKay in the penalty area, but the Socceroos midfielder placed his shot wide of the goal when he should have hit the target.
McKay then came closest to breaking the deadlock only five minutes later after his fizzing shot rattled the crossbar after a neat cutback from Henrique found him with space inside the area.
Melbourne City FC nearly found themselves ahead in the 32nd minute when Erik Paartalu rose highest to meet Mooy's lovely curling cross, but the towering midfielder could only head wide of the goal.
The home side made a dream start to the second half they were awarded a penalty after Dugandzic was fouled inside the area by Bowles, with Mooy calmly slotting home the spot kick to give Melbourne City FC the lead.
David Williams then wasted a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 shortly after, when he fired wide after a neat-lay off from Dugandzic.
Melbourne City FC continued to pile on the pressure, with Melling firing over the crossbar and Brown forcing a good save from Young at his near post.
Brisbane Roar substitute Steven Lustica nearly marked his introduction to the game with an equalizing goal in the 79th minute, but his curling effort sailed wide of Tando Velaphi’s left hand upright.
The away side continued to search for an equalizer, with Jean Carlos Solórzano's tame shot comfortably held by Velaphi - who picked up his first start for Melbourne City FC in place of Andrew Redmayne.
It was the closest the Roar would come to snatching a point, as the away side failed to create any further goalscoring opportunities, with Connor Chapman in particular outstanding in the centre of the Melbourne City defence
Defender Jason Hoffman had a chance to put the icing on the cake for Melbourne City FC in injury time but saw his powerful strike clip the top of the crossbar after being put through by Williams.
Hyundai A-League Round 9
Sunday, 7 December 2014
Melbourne City FC 1 (Aaron MOOY 49' pen)
Brisbane Roar FC
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Shaun Evans
Melbourne City FC Line-Up: 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 5. Connor CHAPMAN, 6. Aaron MOOY, 11. Damien DUFF (David WILLIAMS 46'), 14. James BROWN (Iain RAMSAY 75'), 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 19. Benjamin GARUCCIO, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 24. Patrick KISNORBO (C), 25. Jacob MELLING (Massimo MURDOCCA 84')
Substitutes not used: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3. Robbie WIELAERT.
Yellow Cards: Garuccio 86'
Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar FC Line-Up: 21. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 2. Matthew SMITH (C), 5. Corey BROWN, 7. Mensur KURTISI (Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 67'), 10. HENRIQUE, 13. Jade NORTH, 14. Daniel BOWLES, 17. Matthew MCKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN (Steven LUSTICA 77'). Dimitri PETRATOS, 28. Brandon BORRELLO (Adam SAROTA 62').
Substitutes not used: 30. Matthew ACTON (GK), 15. James DONACHIE
Yellow Cards: Bowles 32'
Red Cards: Nil