Melbourne City’s Y-League side has suffered defeat in their first match of the 2018/19 season, going down 2-0 to Brisbane Roar on Saturday afternoon.
On a sodden day at Lions Stadium in the Queensland capital, a brace from Mirza Muratovic proved the difference between the two sides; the Roar forward netting two goals in ten minutes during the second half to propel the team in Orange to victory.
Though City would fire the first shot in anger of the contest, Yaya Dukuly sending an effort on goal well side of the target in the ninth minute of play, it was the hosts that had the better of the chances throughout Saturday afternoon’s contest.
Roar’s Daniel Leck almost put his side ahead in the 11th minute of play when he had an effort deflect off a defender and go just wide of the post, with City goalkeeper James Delianov then called into action just moments later to deny a headed effort from the subsequent corner.
Leck again went close in the 35th minute when he was just unable to steer a free kick towards goal, the ball sailing past the left post; before Lleyton Brooks capitalised on a turnover from City’s subsequent attempts to clear the ball out by putting a shot of his own wide.
The dangerous Leck would then pick up right where he left off as the second 45 minutes commenced, creating a triumvirate of good chances in the opening stages of the second stanza that frequently forced Delianov into action.
Though towering City defender Lucas Portelli would get forward and just fail to steer an effort from the edge of the penalty area on target in the following moments, it proved to be only a small break in Roar’s barnstorming opening, as Muratovic finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute of play.
A poacher’s goal in every sense of the word, Muratovic’s strike came from point-blank range: the attacker taking advantage of a deflected shot falling at his feet inside the six-yard-box and blasting an effort across the face of Delianov and into the net.
Though City would go close to immediately answering back, forcing the Roar’s Emlyn Wellsmore to clear a ball off the line in the 61st minute of play, the hosts would then make it 2-0.
Getting inside the City defence with a sharp bit of play, Wellsmore was able to tee the ball up on a platter for Muratovic to slot home in the 69th minute of the contest.
While Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ side would look to rally to overturn the deficit late, creating a number of good opportunities late, Young Socceroo goalkeeper Macklin Freke proved up to the task of defending his clean-sheet; producing a number of fine saves to ensure that his side notched their first win over City in Y-League action since 2016/17.
Palatsides’ and his group's thoughts will now turn to bouncing back with a win in their Y-League round three contest, when they make the trek across the Nullarbor to take on Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday, 24 November.