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Late goals sink Navy Blues

Words: ACFC Media

Sunday 25 September 2016

Picture: Phototek NZ

MELBOURNE, Australia - Two late second half goals saw Auckland City FC pipped by a slick Melbourne City FC in Bundoora this afternoon.

Auckland City FC matched their A-League hosts in a tight first half with neither side able to create a clear-cut scoring chance in the first 20 minutes.

The Oceania champions were restricted to working around a highly talented fulltime professional outfit at the end of an intense four month lead-in to the start of the A-League.

The visitors best chances came from wide areas with Takuya Iwata getting into good positions but unable to find team-mates with an accurate final pass.

The teams went in level at the break but Melbourne City had a clear advantage in possession with 62 percent to Auckland City FC's 42 percent.

With the Stirling Sports Premiership side having had less than 12 days together in pre-season and Melbourne City coach John van't Schip emptying his bench in the second half fitness and quality were going to be a factor.

Tim Cahill appeared and had the ball in the net twice but each was ruled out for offside. Melbourne City then had shouts for a penalty waved away by referee Jack Morgan when it appeared Iwata fouled Bruce Kamau.

Auckland City FC survived a raft of set-pieces but for all Melbourne City's superiority in possession they found the New Zealand outfit difficult to penetrate.

With ten substitutions made including Cahill, Josh Rose, Bruce Kamau and Daniel Arzani, it was inevitable gaps would appear in the Auckland City FC defence.

It was Arzani who carved out the opportunity to open the scoring with 15 minutes left when he picked out Nicolas Colazo who scored with a brilliant right foot shot past Drake.

Drake then got in on the act when Cahill conceded a foul on halfway and the goalkeeper tested out his opposite number Bouzanis who needed to be sure of himself to make the save.

Cahill then popped up a minute into injury time to double Melbourne City's lead with a regulation tap-in from a Kamau cross.

Auckland City FC return to New Zealand tomorrow morning and next face Waitakere United in another pre-season friendly on October 1.

Ends

Match Details

Sunday 25 September 2016
Melbourne City FC 2 (Nicolas Colazo 77', Tim Cahill 90+1')
Auckland City FC 0
Halftime: 0-0

REFEREE: Jack MORGAN
AR1: Wilson BROWN
AR2: Daniel ILIEVSKI

MC: Dean BOUZANIS (GK), Christian CAVALLO, Michael JAKOBSEN, Manny MUSCAT, Osama MALIK, Denis GENNEAU, Luke BRATTEN, Fernando BRANDON, Nick FITZGERALD, Bruno FORNAROLI, Braedyn CROWLEY.

SUBS: James DELIANOV (GK), Ruan TONGYIK, Josh ROSE, Connor CHAPMAN, Neil KILKENNY, Anthony CARCERES, Paulo RETRE, Daniel ARZANI, Nicola COLAZO, Tim CAHILL, Bruce KAMAU.

COACH: John vAN'T SCHIP

AC: Danyon DRAKE (GK), Takuya IWATA, Angel BERLANGA, Dae Wook KIM, Darren WHITE, Mario BILEN, Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, Clayton LEWIS, Emiliano TADE, Joao MOREIRA, Ryan DE VRIES.

SUBS: Yanni SKLIROS (GK), Reid DRAKE, Nicolai BERRY, Marko DORDEVIC, Dylan BURNS, Fabrizio TAVANO, Harry EDGE, Alfie ROGERS.

INJURED: Enaut ZUBIKARAI (GK) - concussion (two weeks)

COACH: Ramon TRIBULIETX

Match Statistics

Shots on target MEL 4-1 AKL
Shots off target MEL 1-1 AKL
Blocked MEL 4-1 AKL
Saves MEL 2-0 AKL
Corners MEL 5-0 AKL
Offsides MEL 4-1 AKL
Possession MEL 61% AKL 39%

Pre-season friendlies

October 1
vs. Waitakere United FC
Auckland, New Zealand

October 2
vs. Eastern Suburbs
Auckland, New Zealand

October 8
vs. Canterbury United FC
Christchurch, New Zealand

National League Final

Sunday 4 December 2022, Wellington Olympic, Mount Smart Stadium

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Position P W D L F A Pts
1 AC971120922
2 WO971130822
3 AU9522141317
4 BU9423191714
5 MU9414161713
6 WP9333161412
7 CT930617229
8 CU922516248
9 NC913514236
10 MR911711254

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