Cahill the hero as City edge Reds

Melbourne City earned consecutive home wins against Adelaide United for the first time in A-League history thanks to a stunning Tim Cahill header at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The men in blue looked the more polished side all night as man-of-the-match Bruce Kamau, Nicolas Colazo and Cahill combined to cause headaches through a gallant Reds defence.

Colazo created a chance for Kamau through a pinpoint cross in the third minute but the winger squandered a fantastic opportunity to give City the perfect start.

After a slow first 20 minutes, Osama Malik and Tarek Elrich contested for an aerial ball before the United defender landed awkwardly clutching his left knee.

There was an immediate hush over the stadium as the crowd realised something was seriously wrong – Elrich’s face said it all. He was stretchered off and left the ground to get scans immediately.

Not long after City took the lead in the 36th minute.

A Colazo cross met a Cahill header that chipped United ‘keeper Galekovic in stunning fashion.

Skill. Finesse. Experience. It was trademark Cahill.

Kamau was lively for the game’s entirety and used his ball skills to weave past Reds defenders multiple times.

In the 40th minute he let a curling effort rip from outside the box which looked destined to extend City’s lead to two, but Galekovic’s outstretched glove defined a sublime save.

Friday night’s clash was no short of drama either.

Iacopo La Rocca, who had already been booked by referee Kris Griffth-Jones, seemed to make contact with City captain Bruno Fornaroli, but the Reds defender sighed relief as Griffith-Jones called play-on.

Three minutes of stoppage time ceased as the men in blue entered the break failing to capitalise on their dominance and led 1-0.

City began the second half in a similar manner – high intensity, pace and grit integral to their classy outfit.

The rivalry between Fornaroli and La Rocca continued too, neither were booked in the second half but the City captain was ultimately awarded a free kick on the edge of the area in the 80th minute.

His set piece curled towards the top right corner but Galekovic was up to the task.

Late substitute Nick Fitzgerald had a last-minute opportunity to seal City’s win but it did not matter.

Griffith-Jones’ whistle sounded after three minutes of stoppage time to signal a gusty 1-0 City victory.

Melbourne City 1 (Cahill 36’)
Adelaide United 0

Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones
Assistant Referees: Nathan MacDonald and Lance Greenshields
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

Stadium: AAMI Park
Crowd: 9,438

Melbourne City 20. BOUZANIS Dean (GK), 3. ROSE Joshua, 5. FRANJIC Ivan, 6. MALIK Osama, 8. KILKENNY Neil, 9. COLAZO Nicolas (12. FITZGERALD Nick 77’), 11. KAMAU Bruce, 17. CAHILL Tim (10. CACERES Anthony 64’), 22. JAKOBSEN Michael, 23. FORNAROLI Bruno (C), 26. BRATTAN Luke
Substitutes: 1. SORENSEN Thomas (GK), 2. MUSCAT Emmanuel, 10. CACERES Anthony, 12. FITZGERALD Nick, 18. RETRE Paulo

Adelaide United 1. GALEKOVIC Eugene (GK), 2. MARRONE Michael, 3. LA ROCCA Iacopo, 4. McGOWAN Dylan, 8. Isaias, 9. DIAWARA Papa Babacar, 10. CARRUSCA Marcelo, 11. CIRIO Sergio (92. BABLJ Eli 79’), 18. McGREE Riley (7. KIM JaeSung 71’), 19. GARRUCIO Benjamin, 21. ERICH Tarek (17. MILEUSNIC Nikola 25’)
Substitutes: 30. MARGUSH Daniel, 5. REGAN Taylor, 7. KIM JaeSung, 17. MILEUSNIC Nikola, 92. BABALJ Eli

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A-Grade football fan, C-grade player