Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip said his team’s ability to mix silk and steel was key in their 2-0 FFA Cup semi final win over Victory on Tuesday night.
A goal to Luke Brattan put City on their way in the ninth minute, while Fernando Brandan completed the win with 13 minutes remaining after Victory had the better of the chances at AAMI Park.
Just 10 days after City destroyed Victory 4-1 in the Hyundai A-League, this was a much different encounter, with the Big V bringing plenty of aggression to the contest with eight yellow cards dished out (six to Victory).
“The boys really played a tough game,” van ‘t Schip told Fox Sports. “It wasn’t always good [football] but we deserved the win."
Van’t Schip added he recruited players who had quality but also fighting spirit, something which was on show on Tuesday night.
“That’s important in a game like this when you know a lot’s at stake and the emotions are there.
“You have to keep calm but make sure when it’s needed that you can show you are a tough team.
“On top of that, we want to play but sometimes you also have to put your foot in and be tough and hard and I think we did both this evening.”
Van’t Schip added Victory’s display against Adelaide last Saturday gave City an insight into what to expect on Tuesday night.
“They were very physical in that game as well with the most fouls in the league [in a game] and of course they had something to prove after their first loss.
“So it was normal they’d come our fired up and they did the same this evening.
“So, we had to match that and still try to keep playing our game and in big phases of the game we did.
"And in the end we controlled the game.”
City now face Sydney FC in the Westfield FFA Cup final on November 30 at AAMI Park.