A blistering second half has seen Melbourne City surge to a crucial 3-1 win over a 10-man Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night to keep their Premiers’ Plate hopes alive.
Roar led 1-0 at the break courtesy of a Dimitri Petratos howitzer before the game swung City’s way early in the second half when Jack Hingert conceded a penalty and was shown a red card.
And City took full advantage, with Aaron Mooy converting from the spot before late goals from Anthony Caceres and Nick Fitzgerald sealed a precious three points for the home side.
0-1 Petratos (22’) – A Brisbane corner was headed clear by Alex Wilkinson but flew straight to Petratos just outside the box. The midfielder controlled the ball on his thigh before unleashing a left foot volley which whizzed past Thomas Sorensen into the roof of the net.
1-1 Mooy (54’) – Fornaroli won a penalty for the hosts with Mooy making no mistake, sending Jamie Young the wrong way and slotting it home with ease.
2-1 Caceres (81’) – Ivan Franjic swung in a cross from the right with Caceres timing his run perfectly to leap over Daniel Bowles at the far post and plant a header into the bottom corner.
3-1 Fitzgerald(84’) – Fornaroli took a free-kick just outside the box, getting it up over the wall but it cannoned onto the crossbar, the rebound bouncing up for Fitzgerald to head past a stranded Young.
Trailing at the break, City upped the pressure in the second half and turned the tide just eight minutes after the resumption.
Fornaroli showed great skill and strength to drive his way into the box on the left, turning Hingert before the defender hauled him down for a clear penalty.
The incident proved a huge turning point, giving the hosts a simple equaliser from the spot while also seeing Roar reduced to 10 men with Hingert’s dismissal.
There was only going to be one winner from that point.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
- City has now won six and drawn one of their last seven games against Brisbane in Melbourne.
- Petratos’ opening goal was the first time Roar has scored at AAMI Park in more than two years (five matches). Petratos was the last Roar player to score at the venue back in January 2014 against Victory.
- This is the first time in the last 15 games Brisbane has led at half-time and gone on to lose the match.
Petratos goal to give Roar the lead in the first half will go down as one of the strikes of the season.
It was a pure shot that demonstrated superb technique from the youngster, with a brilliant first touch allowing him to get in a strike before defenders closed him down.
That’s now three goals in his last five games for Petratos, who appears to be hitting his straps at the right time of the season. And it was with his weaker left foot too!