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Victory overcome spirited Mariners

MELvCCMJimmy Jeggo, James Troisi, and Kosta Barbarouses were all on target as Melbourne Victory defeated Central Coast 3-1 at AAMI Park.

Both sides came into the clash without key players and were forced to make several changes to their respective lineups. With Tom Rogic and Mark Milligan away on national duty, Nicholas Ansell suspended, and Adam Traore a late omission during the warm-up, Kevin Muscat restored Pablo Contreras to defence and elevated Jeggo, Connor Pain, and Rashid Mahazi to the first team.

For the Mariners, Eddy Bosnar and Josh Rose were unable to recover from injuries sustained in their home win over Sydney, while Storm Roux did not travel after returning late from New Zealand’s loss to Japan. This meant Matt Sim, Brent Griffiths, and Bernie Ibini were all handed a starting berth alongside last week’s goalscorers Kim Seung-Yong and Mitchell Duke, while Sterjovski found a spot among the substitutes.

Victory’s Lawrence Thomas was handed another opportunity in goals after last week’s 4-0 derby drubbing and early signs were again worrying for the young shot-stopper.

Thomas looked very nervous as an early cross from Sim flashed across goal, and he was almost punished when he missed Kim Seung-Yong’s inswinging corner in the 10th minute. The ball ricocheted off Anderson’s back into the post before falling straight to the feet of Duke, yet the forward appeared in two minds and only succeeded in knocking the ball out for a goal-kick.

Match Details Full match details »

Melb. Victory

Goal31′ J.JeggoPenalty77′ J.Troisi (Pen)Yellow Card81′ J.JeggoYellow Card87′ R.MahaziGoal90′ K.Barbarouses

The home side were struggling to handle the Mariners’ balls into the box and Fitzgerald had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 30th minute. The midfielder ghosted past Galloway to connect with Duke’s cross from the left but inexplicably glanced his header wide from six yards out.

Just a minute later and Victory were ahead against the run of play. Finkler held up the ball inside the box before playing it into the path of Jeggo, who took one touch and incisively dispatched a low shot past Reddy to make it 1-0 to Melbourne.

Thomas was forced into a save early in the second half to deny Fitzgerald after he dribbled his way past Broxham, while Victory were still a threat on the break – particularly through the play of Finkler.

The hosts looked to have the ascendancy from that point, but just as they were getting comfortable in the lead Thomas gifted Central Coast the equaliser. Kim’s free-kick should have been dealt with but the ‘keeper missed the ball and Anderson was on hand to tap home.

Victory responded positively, benefiting from the pace of substitute Barbarouses, and were rewarded in the 76th minute when Anderson handled the ball inside the box, leaving Ben Williams no option but to award a penalty. Troisi made no mistake from the spot as his shot rifled in off the crossbar.

Central Coast looked to draw level as a dangerous attempt from Duke in the 82nd minute had to be blocked by a lunging Geria. Victory had another scare minutes later as Thomas made a hash of dealing with a Central Coast free-kick, leading to a goalmouth scramble he eventually gathered.

However, this was Melbourne’s night, as Troisi raced forward in the dying seconds, fed Thompson on the left, and the striker laid a perfect ball for Barbarouses to score and secure all three points.

About the author

avatarJulian is a freelance writer and editor, film festival programmer, and serial podcaster.

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