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Fast-starting City put three past winless Roar

Melbourne City has recorded its first win of the season defeating Brisbane Roar 3-1 in front of 17,131 fans at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The defending champions’ horror start to the season continued, as it became the first club to lose its opening four games to an A-League season in the history of the competition.

Brisbane Captain Matt MacKay returned for the hosts after a two-match suspension, while Melbourne City midfielder Erik Paartalu, returned to his old home after winning two A-League Championships with The Roar.

City coach John Van’t Schip was hopeful that Spanish superstar David Villa’s departure from Melbourne would mean less distractions and a return to formality for his team rather than more struggles in front of goal. Confirmation that Australian international Josh Kennedy would join City in January was also welcome news for the club.

Brisbane started as the favorite as City’s poor away record had few pundits backing rebranded club. City has only two wins in their last 29 away matches.

In what loomed as a vitally important game for both sides as they searched for their first wins, Brisbane started full of attack, coming close to scoring within the first five minutes with a long-range effort.

However, it was City who produced two damaging counter attacks in the space of just three minutes to set up the win early in the first half, to inflict further pain upon the reigning champions.

In just the 8th minute, Mate Dugandzic gathered the ball in the penalty area before passing to Williams, who threaded the eye of the needle to put the ball past Jamie Young and into the bottom corner.

Just two minutes later, the home fans were shell shocked as Dugandzic turned goal scorer. A lofted through ball found the forward on the edge of the area, beating Roar keeper Jamie Young at his near post with a thundering strike.

Aaron Mooy then had a chance to add a third in the 12th minute, however his shot went just wide.

Brisbane steadied the ship and controlled possession for the remainder of the half, however were unable to make any in-roads on the two-goal deficit, as City’s defence held firm.

City keeper Andrew Redmayne produced a contender for the save of the round in the first half, parrying away a Steve Lustica shot from point blank range.

Incredibly, by half time, Brisbane had far more possession and were well ahead in the majority of the other statistical categories, despite the two-goal deficit.

The second half started as an open affair as Brisbane pushed hard to score their opening goal.

Nineteen-year-old Jacob Melling came on for fellow youngster Paolo Retre in the 59th minute and almost had an immediate impact, shooting with his first touch from just inside the area, resulting in a corner for the visitors. His shot was one of few highlights for the away side in the opening stages of the second half.

Brisbane continued to press, creating chance after chance — finally scoring in the 67th minute through a fortuitous goal. Matt McKay’s shot from just outside the penalty box appeared to be going wide, before coming off the head of Borrello and landing in the back of the net past a stranded Redmayne.

For all of Brisbane’s dominance, though,they could only muster one goal, and City were able to put the game beyond doubt in the 83rd minute through youngster Marc Marino.

City manufactured a brilliant counter attack in one of their few damaging plays in the second half. Aaron Mooy played a superb through ball to substitute James Brown, who crossed to the waiting Marino to net his first A-League goal, and hand his side a 3-1 win.

About the author

avatarBen is a Journalism graduate, a Melbourne Victory fan and contributor to Ultimate A-League.

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