SYDNEY (AP) — Melbourne City will play Sydney FC in the A-League grand final for a second consecutive season after defeating Macarthur FC 2-0 in its semifinal on Sunday.
Stefan Colakovski and Marco Tilio scored within moments of each other in the second-half to lift an under-strength Melbourne City past debutants Macarthur and give City the opportunity to reverse its loss in last season's grand final to Sydney next Saturday.
Colakovski scored from close range from a low cross by Tilio, before the pair combined again less than two minutes later catching Macarthur in a quick transition. This time it was Colakovski squaring a pass for Tilio to score past goalkeeper Adam Federeci for a 2-0 lead.
Macarthur created the two best opportunities in the first half with Charles M’Mombwa having his one-on-one effort saved off the line by defender Nuno Reis, before Ivan Franjic hit the bar with a long-range shot three minutes later.
Without its three Australia national team players — Connor Metalfe, Curtis Good and league top-scorer Jamie Maclaren — who are in quarantine after returning from World Cup qualifying in the Middle East, Melbourne City still looked sharper than the A-league newcomers and made their dominance count in a devastating three-minute spell early in the second half.
City finished first in the regular-season standings while western Sydney club Macarthur was sixth in an impressive first season.
On Saturday, Sydney FC remained on track for its third consecutive A-League title after a 2-1 semifinal win over Adelaide United.
First-half goals from Adam Le Fondre and Bobo had Sydney FC looking comfortable, but Juande’s strike just after the hour mark left the hosts clinging on for the win.
The venue of the grand final is still to be confirmed due to travel restrictions in place across some Australian cities because of the coronavirus.
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The Associated Press