On a cool evening in Geelong, Western United faced Victorian opposition for the first time, coming up against FFA Cup finalists Melbourne City.
City started with plenty of energy at GMHBA Stadium, looking to penetrate United’s defence right from the onset, however, weren’t able to trouble Filip Kurto.
Western United's marquee Alessandro Diamanti played through a delightful ball to Besart Berisha who wasn’t able to find room in the box to get a shot away.
City then began to create clear-cut chances.
Rostyn Griffiths went extremely close for City. The midfielder’s long-range effort almost found the top corner, only for Filip Kurto to make a fingertip save.
Berisha almost broke the deadlock for the Green and Black after 20 minutes, meeting a Diamanti corner, but his header landed straight in the hands of Dean Bouzanis.
City continued to press through Craig Noone and Jamie Maclaren, and eventually found the back of the net. Maclaren controlled a clever Denis Genreau chip through ball and finished superbly.
Western United started the second half livelier than they did the first.
The Green and Black finally found the breakthrough when Harrison Delbridge conceded a penalty for handball. The City defender was shown a second yellow and Berisha calmly put away the spot kick.
Ten-man City were able to regain the lead when Maclaren smashed home his second to steal the three points.
Full-time: Western United 1-2 Melbourne City.
STORY OF THE GAME
5’ YELLOW CARD – Rostyn Griffiths goes into the book early.
8’ CHANCE – Jamie Maclaren’s well-connected strike is saved by Fillip Kurto and out for a corner.
9’ CHANCE – Craig Noone’s long-range effort lands straight in Kurto’s hands.
15’ CHANCE – Alessandro Diamanti play in Besart Berisha who can’t find room to finish.
16’ YELLOW CARD – Connor Pain receives a yellow card.
17’ CHANCE – Rostyn Griffiths’ long-range strike almost finds the top corner but Kurto is able to tip it out for a corner.
20’ CHANCE – Berisha meets a Diamanti corner but his header goes straight into the arms of Dean Bouzanis.
24’ CHANCE – Craig Noone plays Jamie Maclaren through on goal before Connor Chapman closes him down.
30’ CHANCE – Scott Galloway find Craig Noone in the penalty area; whose shot is well-saved by Kurto.
32’ GOAL – City break the deadlock through Jamie Maclaren. City’s number 9 controls it in the box and finishes superbly.
43’ CHANCE – Josh Risdon finds space in the box, gets a shot away but it fades just wide.
49’ YELLOW CARD – Harrison Delbridge brings down Diamanti and is shown a yellow card.
57’ CHANCE – Berisha receives the ball inside the box, turns, shoots and hits the post.
63’ PENALTY AND RED CARD – Delbridge receives his second yellow for a handball in the area.
65’ GOAL – Berisha puts away the spot kick. 1-1.
74’ YELLOW CARD – Andrew Durante goes into the book for Western United.
82’ YELLOW CARD – Ersan Gulum goes into the book for Western United.
85 - GOAL - Jamie Maclaren puts the visitors back in front with a well-taken goal.
90' FULL-TIME - Western United 1 (Berisha 65') Melbourne City 2 (Maclaren 32', 85')
Western United FC squad: 1.Filip KURTO (GK), 4.Andrew DURANTE, 6.Connor CHAPMAN, 8.Panagiotis KONE, 10.Scott MCDONALD (26.Kwabena APPIAH-KUBI 87’), 11.Connor PAIN (5.Dylan PIERIAS 75’), 12.Dario JERTEC (14.Max BURGESS 63’), 13.Ivan VUJICA, , 18.Besart BERISHA, 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Ersan GULUM, 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI,
Substitutes Not Used: 20.James DELIANOV (GK), 2.Aaron CALVER, 13.Ivan VUJICA
Yellow cards: 11.Connor PAIN 16’, 4.Andrew DURANTE 74’, 22.Ersan GULUM 82’
Red cards: None
Melbourne City FC squad: 2.Scott GALLOWAY, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (34.Connor METCALFE 62’), 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Craig NOONE, 17.Denis GENREAU (13.Nathaniel ATKINSON 73’), 19.Lachlan WALES (40.Richard WINDBICHLER 66’), 22.Curtis GOOD, 23.Dean BOUZANIS (gk),
Substitutes not used: 1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 20.Adrian LUNA, 30.Moudi NAJJAR, 49.Stefan COLAKOVSKI
Yellow cards: 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS 5’, 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE 49’ 64’
Red cards: 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE 64’