City defy odds to beat wasteful Roar

Melbourne City coach Patrick Kisnorbo praised his side’s ability to defy adversity and kick off their 2020-21 A-League campaign with a gutsy 1-0 away win over Brisbane Roar.

In hot and humid conditions at Dolphin Stadium on Tuesday night City overcame the loss of key recruit Andrew Nabbout, who suffered another hamstring injury, and the dismissal of midfielder Adrian Luna to grab three hard-earned points.

“Credit to our players .., they showed a lot of character tonight,” Kisnorbo said.

“I’m very proud of them.”

A Connor Metcalfe goal – the first of the new A-League season – eight minutes in the second half proved the difference.

City created few chances, but unlike the Roar, who wasted a host of opportunities, particularly in the first half, were clinical when it mattered.

Kisnorbo was unsure about the severity of Nabbout’s hamstring problem.

The Socceroos winger limped off during the second half clutching his left hamstring after pulling up following his chase of the Roar’s Japanese midfielder Riku Danzaki.

Nabbout suffered a similar injury while playing for Melbourne Victory last season.

“I can’t really speculate. I’ll have to wait and see what the medical staff says,” Kisnorbo said.

However, Kisnorbo was in no doubt about his thoughts on Luna’s 69th minute send off for a second bookable offence.

Adrián Luna sent from the field as @MelbourneCity are forced to hold on with a man down.

Can @brisbaneroar make the advantage count?

📺: @Foxtel, @kayosports
📱: My Football Live app – #BRIvMCY

“I thought it was a bit soft,” the City coach said of Luna’ second yellow card for a foul on Roar midfielder Rahmat Akbari.

“We looked at the replay … I can’t see any contact.

“Maybe the referee or linesman saw it a different way but I don’t think there was any contact.”

Roar coach Warren Moon was left to lament several wasted chances, particularly in the first half when striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls should have scored at least once, and probably twice.

Former Socceroos striker Scott McDonald, who started on the bench because of a minor quad strain, also had a late chance, but dragged his angled shot wide of the post.

“We had plenty of chances to score ourselves but we weren’t good enough to take them,” Moon said.

“It’s a disappointing night. On another night we would have scored two or three.

“Right now for us as a group we’re disappointed.”

Moon also felt the Roar should have done more to exploit City being a man down for more than 20 minutes of the game.

“I think we might have been a bit more measured and shown a little bit more composure,” Moon said.

“Having said that we still created three or four very good chances when they were down to 10 men, but I thought we probably could have moved them a little bit more than we did.”

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