Melbourne City have edged Newcastle Jets 2-1 in the opening match of Remembrance Round at AAMI Park on Thursday night.
A first-half double from Bruno Fornaroli did the damage for the home side and while Andrew Nabbout pulled a goal back before the break City was able to hang on following a cagey second stanza.
After players and officials paused to show their respects before kick-off the match got off to a flying start with Tim Cahill having an early chance to head his side in front.
Instead it was the Jets who should’ve opened the scoring just minutes later when Morton Nordstrand was presented with a glorious chance but inexplicably blazed over the crossbar from inside the six-yard box.
Three goals in the next half-hour followed, with Fornaroli carrying on his record breaking feats from last season but chances were hard to come by in a disjointed second half.
Defender Ivan Franjcic made a successful return to City’s starting side, while the Jets were forced to finish the contest with 10-men after captain Nigel Boogaard limped from the field with Mark Jones having already made his three substitutions.
The three points moves City up to second on the ladder, while after a promising start to the season Newcastle have now lost three on the trot.
1-0 Melbourne City: Bruno Fornaroli, 14’
Fernando Brandan was afforded too much time and space on the left flank and he was able to pick out Fornaroli at the front post who headed past the outstretched Jack Duncan.
2-0 Melbourne City: Bruno Fornaroli, 27’
Bruce Kamau made a break down the right wing and found Fornaroli in space inside the box with his cross. The Uruguayan striker volleyed a first time strike into the back of the net.
2-1 Newcastle Jets: Andrew Nabbout, 36’
A long ball found Nabbout at the top of the box who danced around a couple of City defenders before pulling the trigger, his shot taking a deflection and ballooning into the top corner.
- Bruno Fornaroli’s opener saw him break Shane Smeltz’s record as the quickest player to score 30 goals in Hyundai A-League history, reaching the mark in just 35 appearances. It also marked the 20th goal scored by the Uruguayan marquee at AAMI Park in just 18 appearances.
Fresh from extending his contract Jets midfielder Wayne Brown was unable to see out the contest after limping from the field with a leg injury.
There were more injury woes for the visitors when skipper Nigel Boogaard was forced from the field with ten minutes remaining with what appeared to be a nasty knee injury after colliding with City’s Brandan.
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