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Bozanic strikes twice to lift Victory

bozanicscreamMelbourne Victory have defeated the Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 at AAMI Park in front of 20,097 fans.

Victory midfielder Oliver Bozanic secured the points for his side with goals in the 3rd and 66th minute.

Melbourne Victory made a number of alterations to their lineup for the game with Daniel Georgievski, Rashid Mahazi and Fahid Ben Khalfallah all promoted to the starting eleven in place of Scott Galloway, Thomas Deng and Jai Ingham. Stefan Nigro also slotted in at right-back for his second ever A-League appearance with Jason Geria away on Socceroos duty.

Tony Popovic only made one change to the side that were held to a scoreless draw by Adelaide United last week with Dario Vidosic replacing Romeo Castelen on the right wing.

With tensions rising in the top six, both sides were eager for a win and Melbourne Victory got themselves on the scoresheet early on through Oliver Bozanic.

After claims for a possible handball inside the box were waved away by the referee, Kosta Barbarouses knocked the ball back for Bozanic who had the time and space to drill a shot into the bottom right-hand corner to give Victory the lead after only three minutes.

The Wanderers, eager to hit back, surged forward in the 25th minute and should’ve found the back of the net with shots coming in from Nichols and Vidosic from close range, but an astonishing double save from Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas denied Western Sydney of a goal.

The Wanderers had another great chance in the 30th minute after Mark Bridge broke away on goal and curled a shot on target, but Thomas again did well to get down to his left and stop the effort.

Another flashpoint in the first half came in the 43rd minute as Daniel Georgievski collected Mitch Nichols with a dangerous sliding tackle which could have easily earned him a red card, but referee Strebre Delovski only produced a yellow for the Victory defender.

Shifting to the second half, Melbourne Victory came close to a second goal in the 61st minute as Barbarouses had a clear sight on goal from inside the box, but Liam Reddy blocked the Kiwi’s strike at goal.

However, Victory did double their lead moments later again via Oli Bozanic. With the ball bouncing around the Wanderers’ goal box, Andreu blocked Gui Finkler’s initial shot, but the rebound fell kindly for Bozanic who poked the ball home for his second goal of the game.

Despite injecting both Brendan Santalab and Romeo Castelen in the second half, Western Sydney struggled to create any dangerous chances in the second period with Victory’s defensive structure getting the better of the Wanderers’ attack.

Strebre Delovski blew the full-time whistle with Melbourne Victory claiming a valuable three points to bring them one step closer to securing a spot in the finals.

Victory will travel to New Zealand to face the Phoenix next Saturday, while the Western Sydney Wanderers will play their final home game of the regular season against the Central Coast Mariners next Friday night.

About the author

avatarLachlan is a young aspiring sports journalist, with a strong passion for the A-League.

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  • britesparke

    Against a quality side like the Victory the Wanderers really need to do better in the front third instead of squandering chance after chance. Depending upon other results they could now slip all the way down to four on the table! Simply not good enough! Credit to the Victory for showing what a champion side they are.