Undermanned City earn point against sluggish Roar

A youthful Melbourne City outfit missing seven players through suspension and two through injury have earned a point as they played out a gutsy 2-2 draw against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Usual starters Tim Cahill, Dean Bouzanis, Bruno Fornaroli, Luke Brattan, Fernando Brandan, Osama Malik, Manny Muscat, Michael Jakobsen and Ivan Franjic were all missing for the home side while Thomas Brioche was a notable absentee for Roar.

Brisbane dominated the early the stages and tested out the gloves of City keeper Thomas Sorensen via a Manuel Arana free kick.

His first save was met by a harmonious applause from the home crowd, welcoming him back for his first starting appearance since City’s Round 1 clash against Wellington Phoenix.

As the game progressed there were sure to be questions asked of Roar players’ fitness after their mid-week Asian Champions League win.

Their first half dominance translated to the scoreboard as the away side took the lead via Jamie Maclaren in the 35th minute.

Referee Alan Milliner awarded a very contentious penalty after Josh Rose brought down Borrello in the box.

However, upon further inspection, it was quite clear Borrello hit the turf without any assistance from the City defender.

Minutes later at the other end City were denied penalty shouts after Corey Brown seemed to push Anthony Caceres in the box.

City’s night went from bad to worse very quickly as Maclaren scored his second inside 45 minutes to make it 2-0.

As Milliner called for halftime he was met by a reception of disgruntled boos from City fans who thought their team were disadvantaged by his first half decision making.

With such an inexperienced side, the second half posed an enormous challenge for the men in light blue, but they responded magnificently.

City made it 2-1 via a beautiful Bruce Kamau strike in the 58th minute and just minutes later Milliner awarded the home side a penalty as Nick Fitzgerald was brought down by Dane Ingham.

Up stepped Nicolas Colazo and just like that, City had drawn level.

The final 30 minutes promised to be electrifying.

Both sides had chances to win the game, but ultimately to no avail.

Kamau used his pace to break lines and cause tension in the Brisbane defence, while the fresh legs of Thomas Oar provided the away side with a much needed spark.

But after four minutes of stoppage time, Milliner called for fulltime with the score ending 2-2.

City’s second half heroics, with much thanks to an outstanding performance from Sorensen, helped the men in light blue earn a well-deserved point.

Melbourne City 2 (Kamau 58’, Colazo 61’)
Brisbane Roar 2 (Maclaren 35’ pen., 45’)

Stadium: AAMI Park
Crowd: 8,414

Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistant Referees: Luke Brennan & Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

Melbourne City: 1. SORENSEN Thomas (GK) (C), 3. ROSE Joshua, 8. KILKENNY Neil, 9. COLAZO Nicolas, 10. CACERES Anthony, 11. KAMAU Bruce, 12. FITZGERALD Nick (14. ARZANI Daniel 87’), 18. RETRE Paulo (29. CROWLEY Braedyn 75’), 21. TONGYIK Ruon, 34. GENREAU Denis, 36. PIERIAS Dylan

Substitutes: 40. SOZER Yaren (GK), 14. ARZANI Daniel, 29. CROWLEY Braedyn, 35. CAVALLO Christian, 41. AHMED Yusuf

Brisbane Roar: 1. THEO Michael (GK), 3. De VERE Luke, 4. BOWLES Daniel, 5. BROWN Corey, 8. PEPPER Jacob, 9. MACLAREN Jamie (26. D’AGOSTINO Nicholas 76’), 10. HOLMAN Brett (11. OAR Thomas 62’), 15. ARANA Manuel, 17. McKAY Matthew (C), 28. BORRELLO Brandon, 50. INGHAM Dane

Substitutes: 21. YOUNG Jamie (GK), 7. KRISTENSEN Thomas, 11. OAR Thomas, 26. D’AGOSTINO Nicholas, 46. CRESTANI Cameron

SHARE
mm
A-Grade football fan, C-grade player