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Finkler incisive as wasteful Victory get the Glory

MELvPERThe Melbourne Victory have returned to winning ways, winning 2-0 in front of over 17,000 fans at AAMI Park, but did it the hard way after spurning multiple goal scoring opportunities.

On a positive note, however, it was fan favourite Gui Finkler, who had struggled with injury in the last twelve months, who gave his chances of starting next week a shot in the arm by smashing home the decisive goal in injury time.

The Glory came into the match with the intention of maintaining possession and locking the home side out of the match but it became apparent quite early on that it was going to be rather the opposite.

The Victory dominated on the flanks as Kosta Barbarouses, Mitch Nichols and Adam Traore all tore shreds off their opponents early on as they continued to test the Glory keeper Danny Vukovic.

Nichols in particular had a shot on goal on fifteen minutes, but hit his shot straight at the custodian after some great movement down the right flank.

Kosta Barbarouses would also butcher a golden opportunity midway through the first half when Connor Pain’s barnstorming run found Jason Geria who cut the ball back looking for Nichols and with all the time in the world, the Kiwi international ballooned it over for a goal kick.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Fri Dec 13, 2013, 7:30 PMStadium AAMI ParkAttendance 17,008Referee Peter Green

Nichols would, however, play a part in the first goal, with some brilliant lead up play drawing Michael Thwaite towards the attacking midfielder, freeing up space for Traore, who had Barbarouses on the overlap, but instead unleashed a sizzling shot towards Vukovic’s near post to give the Victory a handy lead going into the break.

Half-time saw the Glory come out with some renewed vigour as they went in search of an elusive equaliser, and Jamie MacLaren will be kicking himself after fluffing a golden opportunity just seven minutes after the restart. Some great play from Harold and a long ball forward released the youngster, but a poor turn on the ball saw him knock the ball wide.

The Victory did have opportunities at their end of the park,  and Kosta Barbarouses brought out an impressive diving save from Vukovic after some fine play to make something out of nothing.

Perth coach Alistair Edwards decided to shake things up with the substitution of striker Ndumba Makeche for son Cameron Edwards and there were signs of a stir from the Western Australian club.

MacLaren again had a golden opportunity with twenty minutes to go after a deft touch from Ryan Edwards found the striker outside the penalty area, before he unleashed a sizzling drive that gave Nathan Coe some worry in the Melbourne goal.

This began a ten minute purple patch for the Victory, however, and Adrian Leijer nearly doubled the score in the 77th minute after a brilliant header.

Unbelievably, on 79 minutes, the Glory didn’t equalise after a mazy run from Harold and subsequent cut back discovered Ryan Edwards equally paced in the penalty area. Disappointingly, the midfielder botched his shot, thundering it over the nearly empty goal.

And it nearly went from bad to worse three minutes later as James Troisi took advantage of some poor defending to maze his way through only to shoot narrowly left of Vukovic’s goal.

But Finkler would have the last laugh as he made the most of some good work by Troisi to weave his way past two men and smash it under the Glory keeper for a 2-0 victory.

About the author

avatarKris is a freelance sports journalist, a two-time WA media guild award winner, and podcast host and writer for Ultimate A-League.

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