Charmed Victory defeat Reds
By Zee Ko:
Hyundai A-League 2013/14 – Round 3 – 25, October, 2013
7.30 PM at Etihad Stadium, Docklands
Melbourne Victory 3
(Barbarouses 15′, Thompson 68′, Nichols 76′)
defeated Adelaide United 0
10-man Melbourne Victory rode their luck for most of the game against Adelaide United, overcoming a red card and penalty decision to somehow triumph 3-0.
Adelaide coach Josep Gombau will have been scratching his head after the game, but Victory’s Kevin Muscat will have heaved a sigh of relief as goals to Kosta Barbarouses, Archie Thompson and Mitch Nichols sealed an unlikely win.
Adrian Leijer received his marching orders for a second yellow card on the stroke of half time with Victory a goal up, but the home side somehow hung on and added to their tally in the second half despite Pablo Contreras conceding a second penalty in four matches.
Adelaide had barely gotten into the game when they suffered an early injury blow with Cassio limping off for Steven Lustica as the visitors were forced into a change.
As they tried to restructure, Victory struck.
Both Thompson and Nichols had been pulled up for offside calls within the first ten minutes but there was no doubt about the opener when it came five minutes after.
James Troisi was on the end of a neat pass on the left flank having ghosted into space, and there was no hesitation as he spun on a dime and made a beeline for goal.
There was no catching the on-loan star as he cut into the box and laid a low cross across the Adelaide area for an onrushing Kosta Barbarouses to side foot home from five yards away.
It was just reward for the hosts given their bright start to the game and the crowd sparked up as sections of the home support began to heckle the travelling fans in earnest.
Substitute Lustica had two chances to level the scores in the next few passages of play, but missed to either side of the goal posts as Nathan Coe was left relatively untroubled.
A strong finish to the first half almost resulted in a second goal to Victory, but Eugene Galekovic pulled off a fine flying save to deny Thompson.
Any hopes of entering the change rooms on a high were dashed however, as Adrian Leijer received his marching orders for tugging back Cirio after the Spaniard had gone past him.
The foul was unnecessary given the Adelaide attacker’s position wide on the left, and Muscat would not have been happy with Leijer’s naïve piece of defending.
This gave way to bizarre scenes on the touchline, as defender Nicholas Ansell jogged on without waiting for the all clear and was carded, before James Troisi had heated words with Muscat upon being substituted.
Pablo Contreras became the third Victory centre back to be cautioned after the break, as Jeronimo Neumann went down under minimal contact in the Victory box.
But Victory were leading a charmed life despite their numerical advantage, as Cirio shot straight at Coe before Michael Zullo scuffed the rebound out of bounds.
Victory once again took full advantage as Adelaide heads dropped, with attackers streaming forward on the counter from the restart.
Adelaide looked to have had won the ball back, but intense attacking pressure forced a turnover as Barbarouses found himself in possession deep in the box.
The New Zealand international needed no second invitation, sliding the ball across the face of goal as Nichols dummied and Thompson stabbed home from point blank range.
Things were to get worst for a shell-shocked Adelaide soon after as a resurgent Victory struck again to all but seal the match.
A long clearance from Coe in the 76th minute caused all sorts of trouble as it bounced just outside the Adelaide penalty area.
Isais took a tumble as Nichols burst past to touch it beyond an onrushing Galekovic, while Boogaard was left trailing in the Victory attacker’s wake as he calmly dispatched the ball into an empty net.
Melbourne Victory FC
1. Nathan Coe (gk), Pablo Contreras, 3. Adama Traore, 5. Mark Milligan (c), 6. Leigh Broxham, 9. Kosta Barbarouses, 10. Archie Thompson (7. Guilherme Finkler +87’), 14. James Troisi (4. Nicholas Ansell +45+2’), 15. Mitchell Nichols (11. Connor Pain +81’), 16. Rashid Mahazi, 23. Adrian Leijer
Substitutes not used:
20. Lawrence Thomas (rgk), 24. Scott Galloway
Coach: Kevin Muscat
Yellow cards: Leijer (35’), Broxham (45+1’), Ansell (45+2’), Contreras (66’), Milligan (66’)
Red cards: Leijer (45+1’)
1. Eugene Galekovic (gk/c), 3. Nigel Boogaard, 5. Osama Malik, 6. Cassio (13. Steven Lustica +13’), 7. Jeronimo Neumann (17. Awer Mabil +71’), 8. Isais, 9. Sergio Cirio, 10. Marcelo Carrusca, 18. Michael Zullo (11. Bruce Djite +71’), 21. Tarek Elrich, 22. Fabio Ferreira
Substitutes not used:
23. Jordan Elsey, 30. John Hall (rgk)
Coach: Josep Gombau
Yellow cards: Zullo (23’), Elrich (75’)
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Ben Williams
Assistants: Matthew Cream, Hakan Anaz 4th Official: Alex Azcurra
BOTN Player points:
3. Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory)
2. Mitch Nichols (Melbourne Victory)
1. Nathan Coe (Melbourne Victory)
Game rating: 7/10
By Zee Ko