City stun Victory to win Melbourne derby 2-1
Published: 20 October 2018 Image credit: Getty Images
Riley McGree comes off bench to score with first touch
Melbourne City won a tight A-League opener against reigning champions Melbourne Victory, overshadowing marquee-signing Keisuke Honda's debut goal.
40,504 packed the newly renamed Marvel Stadium and Honda, a scorer in 3 different World Cup tournaments took just 27 minutes to get on the scoresheet, rising between two defenders to head home on the edge of the 6-yard box.
But 10 minutes later, City benefited from a controversial VAR decision. A seemingly innocuous challenge at the edge of the box on Fornaroli, turned into a penalty after the referee Kurt Ams looked at the footage, despite the replays showing minimal contact from defender Raul Baena.
Berenguer's soft penalty was deflected out by Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas but Richie De Laet skillfully followed up to equalise.
Victory ramped up the pressure in the 2nd half with Honda and James Troisi starting to run the midfield but the match was decided by a superb counter-attack from City in the 70th minute.
A break from inside their own half allowed Luke Brattan to deliver a perfect ball into the path of Riley McGree who had just come off the bench.
The 19-year old, burst between 3 Victory players including a tracking back Honda, and delivered a low right foot drive into the corner of the net with his first kick of the game.
Although against the run of play, City deserved the win, with keeper Eugene Galekovic making vital saves in the last few minutes to give City the 3-points and local bragging rights.