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Broxham keeps Victory undefeated in AAMI goal feast

Melbourne Victory have continued their unbeaten start to the A-League season with a 3-2 win in a thoroughly enthralling cross-border derby against Adelaide United.

The first goal came courtesy of the head of Nigel Boogaard, however the big defender will have been less than pleased with the direction of his header on the seven minute mark.

The Adelaide centre-back connected with Melbourne dynamo Gui Finkler’s cross to power the ball past his own keeper, to the uncharacteristically-played down celebration of Besart Berisha and his fellow Victory players.

Craig Goodwin was impressive on the wing for the Reds, and the youngster would power his way onto the left wing on multiple occasions to deliver searching crosses for the attacking triumvirate of Cirio, Bruce Djite and Awer Mabil.

It would only take another seven minutes for Goodwin to find one of his targets, with the flyer crossing in an absolute peach of a low pass which Mabil connected with to power past Nathan Coe to equalise.

However, once again Boogaard would play villain for the Reds, this time a botched clearance straight into the path of Cirio which ricocheted into the net. The Spanish striker was visibly perplexed as to how he’d managed to score an own goal.

The impressive Fahid Ben Khalfallah continued his rich vein of form as he powered his way down the left flank to float a ball in for the shortest man on the park – Leigh Broxham – at the near post to head home and give the home side a two goal cushion on 32 minutes.

There was plenty of action for the neutral early on, and it only continued into the latter stages as a penetrating Marcelo Carrusca ball found Cirio in the box. The Spaniard was adjudged to have been manhandled by Victory defender Adrian Leijer and referee Kris Griffiths-Jones had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Match Details Full match details »

Adelaide

Goal14′ A.MabilPenalty37′ M.Carrusca (Pen)
Yellow Card55′ I.SanchezYellow Card69′ T.ElrichYellow Card83′ A.Mabil

Carrusca cooly sent Coe the wrong way to bring the deficit back to a solitary goal and give the visitors some parity going into the half-time break.

There would be controversy early on in the second half, however, as just eight minutes in Besart Berisha was clear on goal with only Boogaard there to defend. The Adelaide defender came in heavily with a two-footed tackle as the last man.

The AAMI Park faithful were seeing red however Griffiths-Jones made the call that Boogaard had got the ball despite the heavy contact.

The game took a turn for the worse for the visitors minutes later, with defender Osama Malik going down with an injury off the ball, and the United physios rushed the centre-back down the tunnel for treatment.

The early prognosis from the sidelines was that Malik had re-inflamed a pre-season calf injury that he had picked up in Alice Springs.

A true act of class by the crowd took place in the 63rd minute, as the AAMI Park patrons rose as one in honour of Phillip Hughes for a minutes applause in memory of the fallen cricketer who passed away during the week.

With 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Tarek Elrich was unleashed on the left wing despite Gui Finkler hitting the turf in the previous patch of play. However, Adrian Leijer was more than up to the task and cleaned up the winger, earning himself a yellow card for the professional foul.

Adelaide earnt themselves a corner just minutes later and after a very well set up play, Goodwin crossed the ball accross the face of the goal and who else but Leigh Broxham was there to clear it off the line.

The Victory would counter attack through Berisha, whose ball found Thompson and Barbarouses, with the latter opting to shoot rather than squaring for the onrushing Berisha.

With five minutes of injury time signalled, Adelaide went for the equaliser their performance probably deserved. However, Pablo Sanchez spurned a golden opportunity on 92 minutes after Goodwin again put the ball on a platter for the Spaniard.

But the home side would hold on despite some late pressure to go top of the table, and consign Adelaide United to their first loss of the season.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Leigh Broxham (Melbourne Victory)
2 Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United)
1 Fahid Ben Khalfallah (Melbourne Victory)
Youth Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United)

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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