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After a week defending their club’s pride, Melbourne City can be most proud of their defence after their morale-boosting win over Brisbane Roar.
A first clean sheet in 16 matches provided the platform for City’s second win over the season – both coming over Brisbane Roar.
It was an unlikely crew of defenders that earned City the three points – with four changes to the back five.
Unloved goalkeeper Tando Velaphi played his part, despite the Bronx cheers from fans whenever the gloveman jumped for crosses.
Teenage fullback Ben Garuccio joined with returning defender Jason Hoffman to shut down Brisbane on the flanks.
But alongside captain Patrick Kisnorbo in the middle was the inspiration – 20-year-old Connor Chapman.
Chapman, bought in the off-season from Newcastle Jets, was the club’s sole defensive addition since the change of ownership.
He’s endured a torrid time since joining City, contracting glandular fever on the eve of the campaign.
While he was on the comeback trail, a hamstring injury delayed his City debut to the Roar match.
But it was worth the wait.
Chapman’s performance was among those best on ground, impressing both captain and coach.
Coach John van ‘t Schip said, for a player whose last A-League match was in February, he played “a very decent game”.
“It was controlled, he was disciplined… he had a few very good interceptions, he looked very strong, composed with Patrick.
“I’m happy he’s back and he gives the squad some extra competition.”
Patrick Kisnorbo, who felt last weekend’s 5-1 destruction by Wellington Phoenix intimately, hoped the win was the kick-start their season needed.
“We’ve been working hard these past weeks… sometimes things just don’t go your way,” he told ABC radio.
“Hopefully this gives us a little bit of momentum.”