Sport Melbourne City overcomes Macarthur Bulls to seal A-League grand final berth
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Melbourne City overcomes Macarthur Bulls to seal A-League grand final berth

Melbourne City has booked its place in the A-League grand final after beating Macarthur FC 2-0 on Sunday. Photo: AAP
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Melbourne City will take on Sydney FC in a second consecutive A-League grand final after Stefan Colakovski scored one goal and assisted another to lead the premiers to a 2-0 win over Macarthur FC.

Already without Jamie Maclaren for finals, City had fellow attacking guns Andrew Nabbout and Craig Noone ruled out of Sunday’s game through injury, while it also had to play its home semi-final away at Sydney’s Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

But after a half-time stalemate, the premiers’ pacy young forwards made their mark when Colakovski turned in Marco Tilio’s cross in the 54th minute and a minute later squared the ball for Tilio to double the lead.

City will face three-peat-chasing Sydney FC next Saturday for the chance to win its first A-League title and a premiership-championship double.

Both City and the Bulls were lively without reward in the first half hour before the game exploded to life.

City defender Nuno Reis was the first-half hero, completing a brilliant goal-line clearance to deny Macarthur the lead in the 32nd minute.

Charles M’mombwa pinched the ball away from Aiden O’Neill, rounded Tom Glover and slid a shot towards goal, but Reis busted a gut to get back and clear the ball off the line.

Macarthur’s Ivan Franjic clattered a scintillating long-range shot off the bar in the 35th minute.

Ten minutes later, Bulls skipper Mark Milligan, in what proved his final professional game, made a crucial body block to sent Nathaniel Atkinson’s goal-bound shot off target.

But after half-time, City turned its possession advantage into scoreboard dominance.

Tilio received the ball from Florin Berenguer, cut down the left then whipped the ball across goal, where Colakovski edged past Macarthur’s defence to prod home the opener.

Less than a minute later, Colakovski took a brilliant touch to control a long ball, cut around Milligan then squared it to Tilio, who coolly tapped home in the 55th minute.

The win looked soured when City skipper Scott Jamieson was forced off in the 69th minute after a collision but it was reported the full back had a cheekbone knock, not a concussion scare.

Macarthur showed endeavour late but was unable to pull a goal back as City held firm.

-AAP