City sink 10-man Roar to go top

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.


  • 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!


* Not long after Roar took the lead, City players were appealing for a penalty when Harry Novillo went down in the box under a challenge from Thomas Broich. Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones booked Novillo for simulation but it was difficult to tell definitively on the replay whether it was a foul or whether the Frenchman initiated the contact. But you can be sure City boss John van ‘t Schip would have been disappointed not to have got the decision.

* Hingert’s poor decision to bring down Fornaroli in the box not only gifted City a way back into the match but also saw the defender receive a second yellow card and earn himself an early shower.


That’s now three wins on the bounce for City, who are finishing the regular season with all the momentum. While they won’t end the weekend on top of the ladder, if they keep up this form, the Premiers’ Plate has a great chance of landing at AAMI Park. City is next in action at home against the Phoenix on Easter Monday.

Roar boss John Aloisi will be ruing the one that got away. His side looked in control until Hingert’s red card and the subsequent penalty. It’s not a dagger blow to their Premiership hopes but it’s opened the race over the last three rounds, which starts with Sydney FC at Suncorp on Saturday night.


Melbourne City: Sorensen (gk), Franjic, Wilkinson, Kisnorbo (c), Garuccio, Malik, Fitzgerald, Mooy, Novillo, Zullo (Caceres 74’), Fornaroli

Brisbane Roar: Young (gk), Hingert, North, Bowles, Brown, Corona (Oar 85’), Petratos, McKay (c), Borrello (Henrique 70’), Broich (Stefanutto 57’), Maclaren

Scorers: Petratos 22’, Mooy 54’ (pen), Caceres 81’, Fitzgerald 84’

Red cards: Hingert 54’

Yellow cards: Novillo 25’, North 27’, Franjic 33’, Hingert 45’, Hingert 54’, Bowles 58’

Conditions: 16C, Cloudy