16/04/2024

Melbourne City dominated Canberra in the nation's capital, coming away with a 4-0 win (Image: Melbourne City)

Melbourne City made light work of Canberra United on Friday night, winning 4-0 on their visit to Seiffert Oval in the nation’s capital. Rhianna Pollicina netted a brace while 16-year-old Daniela Galic scored a genuine goal-of-the-season contender for her first career goal.

Dario Vidosic made his first changes to the starting line-up after last week’s loss to Western United. Attacking duo Emina Ekic and Daniela Galic were relegated to the bench with a tight schedule coming up.

The game started with neither side daring to make too many deep runs, City’s relentless pressure was on show from the first minute as United struggled to hold on to the ball.

The hosts had the first major chance of the game in the 25th minute, Michelle Heyman was able to connect strongly from a corner, but a good reflex save from Sally James ensured the scores stayed level.

Canberra continued to test the defence through the pace of Heyman and Nickoletta Flannery to no success. Melbourne broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, with Pollicina receiving a well-weighted through ball to the top of the penalty area and sending a low, piercing ball into the bottom corner.

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Both sides had chances to affect the scoreboard before the break, Heyman sent the ball just over the top of the crossbar, while Pollicina had her strike denied by a strong save from Keeley Richards.

The first 45 minutes ultimately played out as end-to-end exciting football before they walked into the sheds with the score still 1-0.

The visitors took control in the second half and stamped their assertiveness early, Pollicina continued her dominant performance. The Canberra defence held firm but the pressure was building a goal felt inevitable.

Pollicina got her second in the 55th minute after a strong press from City, seemingly opening the floodgates. It took only fourteen minutes for the third goal to come as Melbourne turned the screws and showed its attacking prowess.

The moment of the match came in the dying moments, with 16-year-old Daniela Galic scoring her first A-League goal, an absolute belter from outside the box.

The teenager played a cross into Pollicina, who, instead of blazing away for her hat trick, held up the ball and allowed Galic to run through and send it cleanly into the top corner from more than 20 yards out.

Pollicina and Galic dominated Canberra’s defence over the course of 90 minutes. The former netted herself two goals while assisting one for the latter, while Galic scored one of her own and assisted Maria Jose Rojas for the team’s third.

Another four goals performance extends City’s dominance on the attacking end, scoring 17 goals over their first five games. They’ve also got four players who’ve scored three or more goals, proving they’re capable of scoring from a multitude of different avenues.

Melbourne City is back in action on Tuesday, looking to hold on to top spot into 2023. They’ll host Perth Glory off a four-day turnaround. Meanwhile, Canberra will enjoy a full week’s break before travelling to Melbourne to take on Victory.

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