Caltex Socceroo defender Alex Wilkinson says he’s no longer surprised by Bruno Fornaroli’s brilliance after the Uruguayan inspired Melbourne City to a 2-0 Elimination Final win over Perth Glory on Sunday.
Fornaroli scored a stunning brace as City won 2-0 at AAMI Park to progress to a semi-final against Adelaide United on Friday night.
His first was an acrobatic overhead kick just before half-time before he made the result safe with 15 minutes left with a classy strike direct from a free-kick giving Glory keeper Ante Covic no chance.
“He’s brilliant. I’m just happy I’m not defending him,” Wilkinson told Fox Sports when asked about the Uruguayan's quality.
“He’s so strong, for a small guy he’s so strong. He loves to roll defenders and then once you get him in the box his feet are lightning.
“His two finishes tonight were unbelievable. We shouldn’t be surprised, he’s been doing it all year.
“Let’s just hope he stays around and we keep him in the A-League as long as possible.
"He’s first class and one of the best we’ve had.”
Fornaroli’s two goals take his tally to the season to an incredible 25 from just 28 appearances.
While delighted with his own performance and City’s progression to the semis, the man known as “The Prickly Pear” says it’s important his side stays grounded.
“I’m very happy for this game but we don’t win nothing [yet],” he said.
“It’s only one game in the finals. If we want to win the league we have to continue on this way.”
After entering the finals on the back of two straight defeats – and with star winger Harry Novillo suspended - there were some doubts over City’s title credentials.
But they blasted Glory away from the start, putting Kenny Lowe’s side on the back foot with a high-energy, pressing game and were duly rewarded with victory.
“It was a great performance from the boys, the first half especially. We didn’t give them time to breath,” Wilkinson said.
“It was 100 mile an hour and the pressing from the front boys and the midfield helped us guys at the back. We didn’t give them much space at all.
“The second half we got a bit tired but still created a few chances and probably could have won by a few more.”
City now head to Coopers Stadium on Friday night for a clash with the Premiership-winning Reds.
The two sides met in a fiery clash at AAMI Park which Adelaide won 2-0 in Round 27.