Melbourne City began life after Tim Cahill with a 1-0 home A-League win over Central Coast Mariners.
Australia great Cahill parted company with City earlier this week amid concerns over a lack of game time ahead of the 2018 World Cup and reports of a falling out with head coach Warren Joyce.
The goal burden should not weigh too heavily for Joyce's men, with on-loan Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack continuing a rich run of scoring form to make it back-to-back wins for the third-placed side.
The 31-year-old made it seven goals in nine appearances for City just before the hour when he slid a low finish into the net from Luke Brattan's pass, crowning a fine move launched by goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.
It was McCormack's first A-League goal from open play following three penalties and free-kicks apiece.
City faded during the closing stages and needed a brave block during stoppage time from midfielder Stefan Mauk to deny Connor Pain, as the visitors remained fifth in the table.