Sport Football Tim Cahill opens his A-League account with a scorcher
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Tim Cahill opens his A-League account with a scorcher

Tim Cahill City scores
Tim Cahill was a dominant force for City. Photo: Getty Photo: Getty
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Tim Cahill has burst onto the A-League scene with an astounding long-range goal which sent Melbourne City on its way to a 4-1 derby win over Victory at Docklands Stadium.

Much of the pre-match excitement was centred around Cahill, especially when Australian football’s biggest star was named in City’s starting XI, and the 36-year-old soon proved the hype was justified.

After 27 minutes, with the ball bouncing seemingly harmlessly amid a cluster of players, Cahill showed that combination of aggression and skill that has always been his calling card, hurling himself into the fray and connecting with a swerving 35-metre shot which sailed past the keeper and into the top corner of the net.

Cahill was involved in City’s second goal too, as he laid the ball wide for Nicolas Colazo, whose perfect cross landed on the head of Bruno Fornaroli and was dispatched into the back of the net.

Colazo and Fornaroli were both brilliant on the night, the Argentine creating chance after chance and the Uruguayan working hard to make himself a target.

Luke Brattan stood out too, initiating City’s forays forwards with his calm, precise passing game, while Bruce Kamau dazzled with his dribbling.

It was those two men who conjured City’s third goal just after the half-time break, with Kamau powering his way to the byline on the left before cutting back for Brattan to bury.

 Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas is beaten by a shot from Bruno Fornaroli.
Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas is beaten by a shot from Bruno Fornaroli.

Cahill’s first action was to bloody the face of Baro with a flailing arm.

The Socceroos hero was also involved in the first flare-up of the match, helping to drag players off each other in the 12th minute after Jason Geria scythed down Fernando Brandan.

After that early argy bargy. City soon found themselves in complete control, passing their way through a hapless Victory side with ease.

Marco Rojas briefly gave the ‘home’ Victory fans something to cheer about, scoring a brilliant individual goal of his own in the 62nd minute, but that moment of happiness did not last long.

Just a minute later, Brandan took advantage of a one-on-one opportunity against Bruce Geria, leaving the defender for dead before slotting home to restore City’s three-goal lead.

John City boss van ‘t Schip tried his best to be level-headed after the match, insisting City had “a long way to go” to challenge for honours.

“We were over the whole game, the evening, the better team and we worked hard for that,” he said before praising Cahill.

“You couldn’t wish for a better start… that’s something that world class players do.”

Besart Berisha confirmed Victory’s lacklustre night by heading a sitter wide with five minutes remaining, much to Muscat’s angst.

“It was a disappointing night for us from start to finish,” he said.

“They set the standard … we didn’t come to grips with it and we conceded a great goal.

“The biggest disappointment apart from the embarrassment, treating our fans to such a poor performance, was that we didn’t recover.”

Earlier in the day a superb display from Milos Ninkovic lifted Sydney FC to an emphatic 4-0 win over Central Coast.

The Serbian playmaker was influential all over Allianz Stadium, setting up first-half goals for Filip Holosko and Bobo to kickstart the Sky Blues’ third consecutive four-goal league haul.

Holosko then converted a penalty – his third goal in two games – and captain Alex Brosque scored thanks to a farcical error by former Sydney FC goalkeeper Ivan Necevski.

Sydney FC captain Alex Brusque and Serbian playmaker Milos Ninkovic.
Sydney FC captain Alex Brusque and Serbian playmaker Milos Ninkovic.

After the match Brusque told ABC Grandstand that the Sky Blues had room for improvement, despite the trouncing.

“They had us running around for a fair bit of the game so that’s something we need to probably work out,” Brosque said.

“But again to score four goals, a couple of them were on the counter as well, it’s pleasing.

“It’s pleasing to know that even though we’ve got a long way to go we’re getting good wins at the moment.

“I think just all-round, the boys in the midfield are doing great, up top we’re keeping the ball and moving it around well. I just think all of our play is a lot better this year.”

– ABC, AAP