Melbourne City muscle past Brisbane Roar to secure Semi Final spot
Melbourne City are one match away from a maiden Hyundai A-League Grand Final appearance after ousting Brisbane Roar 2-0 in an Elimination Final at AAMI Park.
Stefan Mauk and substitute Nick Fitzgerald scored second-half goals to book the home side's place in a blockbuster Semi Final against Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium next Friday night.
City dominated for much of the encounter and deservedly went ahead just prior to the hour as Mauk netted against Brisbane for the third time in as many meetings.
And, having negotiated the occasional nervy moment across the final 20 minutes, Warren Joyce's men confirmed their progression to the final four courtesy of substitute Fitzgerald's stoppage-time sealer.
Roar, meanwhile, exit at the first hurdle having failed to muster a shot on goal.
STORY OF THE GAME
- SAVE: Big opportunity for Dario Vidosic as the ball breaks in the box for a first-time strike, but Jamie Young reacts well to beat away the side-foot finish.
- CHANCE: City continue to pin back Brisbane, with Bruno Fornaroli and Daniel Arzani sharing an exquisite one-two before the youngster spoons over the bar.
- CLOSE: An unmarked Osama Malik heads the wrong side of the post at close range.
- SCRAMBLE: More scary moments for Brisbane to negotiate as Mauk and Fornaroli both have shots blocked in quick succession.
- CHANCE: Ten minutes after the restart and Vidosic drops a cross to the far post, where Arzani gets his diving header all wrong.
- GOAL! It's been coming all game and Mauk is the man to break the deadlock for City just prior to the hour.
- CHANCE: Young claws Arzani's shot away from the bottom near corner when the youngster might have squared to a host of team-mates.
- SHOT: Massimo Maccarone misses the target with an audacious volley from Eric Bautheac's cross.
- CLOSE: Left all on his own, Maccarone nods Fahid Ben Khalfallah's corner agonisingly wide.
- CHANCE: Jack Hingert screws a good opening past the far post.
- MISS: Vidosic rolls a finish the wrong side of the upright.
- GOAL! Shortly after missing that chance, Vidosic atones by delivering the second for Fitzgerald in stoppage time.
Stefan Mauk, Melbourne City 59': 1-0
Hingert's unfortunate slip allows Fornaroli to break into the box from the left flank. He picks out Mauk's darting run to the near post and the midfielder makes no mistake with a clever stabbed finish.
Nick Fitzgerald, Melbourne City 90'+1: 2-0
Vidosic escapes down the left in stoppage time and puts a superb curling cross on a platter for Fitzgerald to head home.