A strong Melbourne City side prevailed against the Central Coast Mariners in a behind closed doors friendly in Melbourne on Wednesday thanks to first half goals from Florin Berengeur and Remy Najjarine.
THE RUN DOWN
Wednesday’s meeting provided a chance for Alen Stajcic to put some minutes in the legs of those who didn’t play in last week’s FFA Cup thriller, and it was a very different Mariners side that took to the park.
The opening exchanges were a cagey affair, and Adam Pearce did well in the Mariners’ goal to save some on-target efforts from City’s forward line.
Dylan Ruiz-Diaz looked threatening up front and produced the first strong chance of the game for the Mariners, unleashing an effort from the edge of the area that was tipped over the bar by Dean Bouzanis in the City goal.
Pearce made another excellent save from Najjarine but the hosts took the lead from a corner that followed as Berenguer fired home, and Najjarine scored from just inside the 18-yard box moments later.
The second half was a more subdued affair with little of note happening at either end, and the outing finished with City ahead 2-0.
The Mariners attention now turns towards the pre-season trip to Tasmania this weekend, and a big FFA Cup meeting with Hume City on Tuesday, 17th September at ABD Stadium.
37’ BERENGEUR (1-0): Florin Berengeur exchanged passes before finishing with a half-volley from in front of goal to put the hosts into the lead.
42’ NAJARRINE (2-0): Shortly after going ahead, Ramy Najjarine got on the end of a cross to score from just inside the 18-yard box.
Melbourne City: 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 3. Scott JAMIESON ©, 7. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8. Javier CABRERA, 10. Florin BERENGUER , 20. Adrian LUNA, 21. Ramy NAJJARINE, 22. Curtis GOOD, 23. Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 30. Moudi NAJJAR, 40. Richard WINDBICHLER
Bench: 4. Harrison DELBRIDGE, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 11. Craig NOONE, 35. Raphael RODRIGUES, 36. Kerrin STOKES, 39. Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 41. Mark KARLIC, 46. Joe GAUCI (GK)
Central Coast Mariners: 4. Eunsum KIM ©, 7. Milan DURIC, 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 12. Adam PEARCE (GK), 14. Abraham MAJOK, 16. Dylan FOX, 23. Mario SHABOW, 27. Lewis MILLER, 28. Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ, 30. Jacob ESPOSITO (T), 31. Matthew HATCH
Bench: 1. Mark Birighitti (GK), 22. Jacob MELLING, 26. Joshua NISBET, 29. Jordan SMYLIE, 33. Harrison SAWYER (T)