It’s a big off-season for Melbourne City as they look to replace departed coach Warren Joyce and build on a 2018/19 campaign that largely flattered to deceive.
City failed to mount a serious challenge for the Hyundai A-League title, knocked out in the opening week of the finals in a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Adelaide United in extra-time.
But there were still a few moments that had City fans jumping for joy and we continue our club-by-club look back at some unforgettable moments from the last campaign.
Today it’s City’s turn and we’ve come up with four of their most memorable moments from 2018/19.
Opening round Melbourne Derby win
It seems a lifetime ago that City began their campaign in the best way possible: a rousing 2-1 October win over cross-city rivals Melbourne Victory in Keisuke Honda’s debut.
The night looked like it would belong to Japanese star Honda when he headed Victory in front, but Warren Joyce’s City fought back.
Ritchie De Laet cleaned up after Florin Berenguer’s first-half penalty miss, the first of the former Premier League winner’s seven goals in 2018/19.
And after a tense arm-wrestle, teenage star Riley McGree stole the show, scoring the winner with his very first touch in a City shirt just two minutes after entering the fray as a substitute for Anthony Caceres.
Schenkeveld’s stoppage-time winner against Wanderers
As usual, it was impeccable timing from Bart Schenkeveld – only this time the defender’s match-winning contribution came at the other end of the pitch.
That was, of course, the Dutchman’s towering 94th-minute header, the final act of City’s 4-3 epic with Western Sydney Wanderers in January.
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The Wanderers had turned a first-half deficit on its head by taking a 3-2 lead early in the second half via Tass Mourdoukoutas’ header and Jaushua Sotirio pearler.
But the match turned following the dismissal of Wanderers midfielder Keanu Baccus. De Laet drew level late by clinically dispatched the second of the evening, before Schenkeveld rose highest and planted home the winner.
Not a bad time to score your first Hyundai A-League goal.
Galekovic produces a goalkeeping masterclass
Eugene Galekovic has played a stack of sensational matches over the course of his Hyundai A-League career but it’s hard to remember any better than the Round 10 clash against Western Sydney Wanderers on New Years’ Day.
The 37-year-old showed all his class and experience to keep the Wanderers at bay and help a 10-man City to a 2-0 win at ANZ Stadium.
Ove the 90 minutes, Galekovic produced the full catalogue of spectacular saves.
Headlining his highlights reel was an incredible stop to deny Alexander Baumjohann’s rocket from close range, a penalty save from Oriol Riera, and an acrobatic leap in the dying embers of the first half to parry Bruce Kamau’s curler.
It drew high praise from one of Australia's best-ever goalkeepers in ex-Caltex Socceroo and Manchester United star Mark Bosnich.
Turning on the style against Brisbane Roar
City – who scored the fourth-lowest goals in the competition despite their fifth-place finish - were too often stagnant in attack during 2018/19.
But April’s 4-1 win over Brisbane Roar was an occasion where the full potential of Joyce’s front line was unleashed.
And it was so in exhilarating fashion.
City were level with lowly Roar 1-1 after the break, but Shayon Harrison, De Laet and Riley McGree conjured two goal of the season contenders in one half to hammer the visitors in convincing fashion.
De Leat’s strike was an unstoppable rocket from distance, while McGree’s chip was another flash of the Australian youth international’s penchant for the spectacular.