Melbourne City clinch their first A-League trophy

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Melbourne City have captured their first Premiers Plate in the most dramatic fashion after beating the Central Coast Mariners 1-0.

After being up for much of the game, Melbourne City almost lost with their first A-League trophy within grasp.

With Aiden O’Neill slipping in the box and bringing down Mark Birighitti in the box on the field deep in injury time, referee Shaun Evans deemed it a penalty. However, with VAR sending him over to have a second look, it was overturned, much to the delight of City fans.

City’s win takes them ten points ahead of second-place Sydney FC, making them mathematically impossible to catch, leading them to their first Premiers Plate.

Craig Noone was City’s only real point of promise in the first half and ultimately rewarded them with their first goal after half time.

Daniel De Silva’s failed clearance couldn’t pass Marco Tillio, who put it into the path of Adrian Luna, who crossed the ball into a charging Noone at the back post. Noone managed to beat out a frozen Lewis Miller to put City ahead.

VAR almost intervened after it looked like the Englishmen may have pushed Miller on his way to putting the ball in the back of the net.

Maclaren seemed to have all but sealed the game after his one brilliant one-two play with Stefan Colakovski.

However, in another case of A-league fans and VAR, Maclaren was judged to have handled the ball to lead up to the goal.

Although the Mariners were clearly on the back foot all night, Ruon Tongyik was by far their best player with some quick and decisive interceptions.

Tongyik has proved why he is one of the best defenders in the league this season and certainly one of the most improved.

For the Mariners, this leaves their chances of clinching a home final up in the air, trailing Sydney FC by two points with three games left in the season.

Neither side was particularly convincing in their performance; however, with City being one of the most clinical sides in the A-League, they were ultimately rewarded for their efforts.

Patrick Kisnorbo will certainly need to improve their performance to claim their second trophy of the season, but for now, Kisnorbo, his men and their fans will celebrate the end of the regular season.

Melbourne City 1 (Craig Noone 59′)

Central Coast Mariners 0

AAMI Park

Referee: Shaun Evans

Assistant Referees: George Lakrindis & Daniel Lakrindis

Melbourne City: Thomas Glover, Scott Galloway, Scott Jamieson, Nuno Pereira Reis, Aiden O’Neill, Jamie Maclaren, Craig Noone, Connor Metclafe, Adrian Luna, Curtis Good, Marco Tilio, Stefan Colakovski (Sub 80′), Florin Berenguer-Bohrer (Sub 90+2)

Unused subs: Daniel Georgievski, Florin Berenguer-Bohrer, Naoki Tsubaki, Taras Gomulka, Benjamin Garuccio, Matthew Sutton(gk)

Central Coast Mariners: Mark Birighitti, Joshua NIsbet, Stefan Nigro, Gianni Stensness, Oliver Bozanic, Daniel De Silva, Jack Clisby, Marcos Urena, Kye Rowles, Matthew Simon, Ruon Tongyik, Lewis Miller (Sub 56′), Alou Kuol (Sub 56), Daniel Bouman (Sub 79′), Jaden Casella (Sub 80′)

Unused subs: Adam Pearce (gk), Daniel Hall, Jordan Smylie

Feature Image Credit: Supplied

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Pokuah Frimpong
Obsessed football fan, current journalism student.

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