City surge to the top of the table with 3-2 win

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Melbourne City has continued their undefeated start to the season, fighting back from an early one-goal deficit to down Wellington Phoenix 3-2 at AAMI Park.

A six-minute period where Connor Metcalfe and Scott Galloway both found the back of the net was enough to set up the lead for City which they went on to extend in the second half.

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Melbourne created the first opportunity of the match when forward Craig Noone connected with a cross from Denis Genreau, however, it was easily taken by goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.

Minutes later the visitors won a free kick but forward Ulises Davila strike went straight to keeper Dean Bouzanis.

Davila was involved in the action again, feeding the ball to Matti Stienman whose strike was whipped away by Scott Jamieson to set up a corner for Wellington.

From the corner, the Nix struck in the 24th minute. The long cross to the front of the goals was headed into the bottom right corner by Gary Hooper.

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Yet Melbourne was quick to respond.

Metcalfe used his head to angle the ball into the top left corner after a sharp cross from Noone, levelling the scores after 30 minutes.

It did not last long. A long piercing strike from Galloway slammed into the right upright before ricocheting into the back of the net, handing City a 2-1 lead after 34’.

Minutes later Wellington had a chance to equalise. Ball surged forward and found space but his shot went into the side netting.

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The second half started with Noone pummelling the ball towards goal but Wellington captain Steven Taylor stood strong in defence blocking the strike with his head.

In the 62th minute, a controversial handball decision was called against Wellington midfielder Louis Fenton in the penalty area.

Noone made good of the strike, extending Melbourne’s lead to 3-1.

In the dying minutes of the match, a header from Stefan Colakovski sailed just high to deny Melbourne a fourth goal.

A late goal to Wellington forward Benjamine Waine in extra time drew the game back to 3-2 but it was too late.

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With the final whistle blowing moments after play recommenced, signalling a third victory for Melbourne City.

The win was enough to propel City to the top of the ladder after four rounds, while Wellington remains at the bottom of the table without any points.

Melbourne City 3 (Metcalfe 34’, Galloway 40’ Noone 63’)
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Hooper 24’, Waine 90+3’)

AAMI Park
Attendance: 6440

Referee: Benjamin Abraham
Assistant Referees: Wilson Brown, Andrew Meimarakis
Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar

Melbourne City: Dean BOUZANIS (gk), Scott GALLOWAY, Scott JAMIESON (c), Josh BRILLANTE, Rostyn GRIFFITHS, Craig NOONE, Denis GENREAU, Lachlan WALES, Curtis GOOD, Moudi NAJJAR, Connor METCALFE. Adrian LUNA (Sub 53’) Ramy NAJJARINE (Sub 67’), Stefan COLAKOVSKI (Sub 78’).

Unused Subs: Tom GLOVER (gk), Nathniel ATKINSON, Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, Kerrin STOKES

Wellington Phoenix: Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), Luke DE VERE, Matti STEINMANN, 7.Reno PISCOPO, David BALL, Ulises DAVILA, Alex RUFER, Louis FENTON, Walter SCOTT, Steven TAYLOR (c), Gary HOOPER, Jaushua SOTIRIO (Sub 45’), Callum McCOWATT (Sub 45’), Ben WAINE (Sub 67’)

Unused Subs: Oliver SAIL (gk), Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, Tim PAYNE

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Michael Patane
Student at Monash University and lover of all things football covering Melbourne City in 2019/20.