Melbourne City fans got their first glimpse of life after Aaron Mooy and it was promising thanks to Luke Brattan and Anthony Caceres.
Caceres scored a stunning 65th minute winner while Brattan produced a Man of the Match display as City defeated Floreat Athena 2-1 in the FFA Cup Round of 32 clash at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday.
Debutant Brattan was outstanding in the first half with his distribution and composure in the deep-lying midfield role.
The pair worked well together with Caceres in a more attacking role, linking wingers Bruce Kamau and Nick Fitzgerald into the game.
Caceres’ 30-metre match-winner was the icing on the cake.
“I feel this year Bratts and I can hopefully form a good partnership and do well for the club,” Caceres told FourFourTwo.
“Bratts is a quality player. He moves the ball really well.
“He’s technically very good and he makes it easy for the players running to move into space and he finds you.”
Brattan, who spent a season in the wilderness in England last term after joining Manchester City from Brisbane Roar, tired as the game wore on as he played out the full 90 minutes.
Caceres was confident Brattan would only get better and help fill Mooy’s void following his exit for Huddersfield Town via Manchester City.
“Everyone knows of Aaron’s quality,” said Caceres, who is also on loan from Manchester City.
“But I think we’ve recruited well this year and we’re looking stronger than ever.”
Kamau had his moments on debut, Manny Muscat was solid while Argentine recruit Fernando Brandan looked rusty in a 30-minute cameo.
As for Caceres’ sublime goal, the midfielder said he simply decided to try his luck.
“I just found myself in a bit of space and I thought why not,” he said.
“It was a bit of a cagey game at that point. Luckily enough I broke the deadlock for us and we were in the lead.
“It was a tough game, they gave us a hard time on a difficult pitch.
“Overall we’re happy with the win, obviously plenty to improve on.”
Recovery starts now. Ice cold! ❄️ pic.twitter.com/fwD8E9BHNK— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) August 2, 2016