Melbourne record famous Victory

by Tomasz Ng:

AFC Champions League 2014, Group Stage – Matchday 5

7:30pm, Tuesday 15 April – Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

Melbourne Victory FC 2

(Mark Milligan 2’,  James Troisi 90’+2)

Defeated

Guangzhou Evergrande FC 0

 

A mighty performance from Melbourne Victory saw them defeat Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1 on a historic night at Docklands Stadium.

Mark Milligan got the hosts off to the perfect start with a goal in just the second minute of the game, while James Troisi finally secured the result deep into stoppage time.

It was a huge relief for the Victory, who spurned many chances on the counter attack throughout the match while withstanding some immense pressure from Guangzhou.

The start by the Victory was quick and deadly, as Milligan burst forward to latch onto a Jesse Makarounas through ball and applying a clinical finish past Zeng Cheng.

Guangzhou were not expecting such a fast start from the hosts and almost went two behind when Victory perfectly executed a counter attack to leave Kosta Barbarouses through on goal.

But the New Zealand international fluffed the chance, as he kicked it straight at the keeper who simply kicked the attempt away.

Victory were proving to be deadly on the counter, but had to be wary of Guangzhou’s threats as well.

The Chinese outfit had their best chance of the first half in the 31st minute when Muriqui was played in behind the defence by Elkeson.

However just as Barbarouses had done earlier, Muriqui only found Nathan Coe with his shot despite having plenty of time and space.

Sun Xiang then almost gave the visitors a spectacular equaliser a couple of minutes later, but his dipping volley from 30 yards was headed clear.

The game was being played at breakneck speed and Barbarouses had another chance in the 34th minute to score, but this time his curling effort forced Zeng into a good save.

It was hard to believe Barbarouses hadn’t registered himself on the scoresheet by the end of the half, as he had another two efforts well saved by the keeper.

The second of which came when he shimmied past the defender and smashed a shot hard and low towards the near post.

Lots of the narrative going into the game from Victory head coach Kevin Muscat has been how his side had learnt from their past mistakes in previous Champions League games, and he would have been delighted with how Victory began in the second half.

Though the finishing from Makarounas in the 53rd minute left a lot to be desired, Victory had begun on the front foot an kept on exploiting space left in behind the wing backs.

But as the clock ticked over the hour mark, Guangzhou began to put some really intense pressure on the Victory.

Elkeson was the main beneficiary up front, but his two efforts were feeble to say the least.

His Brazilian counterpart Muriqui fared much better, who was denied again by Coe as he searched for the equaliser.

Elkeson played in Muriqui, who got a yard ahead of Dylan Murnane and smashed a shot towards the far post, but Coe got down well and pushed it away.

The Victory custodian then pulled off an even better save six minutes later, just getting his fingertips to the ball as Feng Renliang smashed the ball across the goal.

It looked like a certain goal, and the crucial touch from the keeper just deflected it past the post.

In fact Coe was proving invincible, and prevented Muriqui from scoring yet again in the 80th minute, as he bailed out his team for some slack defending to clutch onto the Brazilian’s shot.

Those at the ground would’ve felt as if the defending champions were going to eventually grab a much needed point, but it was the Victory who finished stronger.

After Nabbout cut in off the left side, he squared a ball to Barbarouses who simply laid it into the path of Troisi, leaving the attacking midfielder to steer the ball into the back of the net to send the crowd into delirium.

The result means Victory are tied on 7 points with the rest of the group going into the final round, ensuring there will be everything to play for in Matchday 6 when they travel to Jeonbuk.

Guangzhou meanwhile face a tough assignment at home to Yokohama, and are in danger of not qualifying after two straight losses.

 

Match Stats:

Crowd: 13,120

Line-ups:

Melbourne Victory:

1. Nathan Coe [GK], 2. Pablo Contreras, 5. Mark Milligan (c), 9. Kosta Barbarouses, 11. Connor Pain (13. Andrew Nabbout +70’), 14. James Troisi, 16. Rashid Mahazi, 22. Jesse Makarounas (26. Jordan Brown +84’), 23. Adrian Leijer, 25. Jason Geria, 27. Dylan Murnane

Unused subs: 20. Lawrence Thomas [GK], 3. Adama Traore, 6. Leigh Broxham, 24. Scott Galloway, Christopher Cristaldo

Yellow Cards: Milligan 23’

Red Cards: Nil

 

Guangzhou Evergrande:

19. Zeng Cheng [GK], 2. Liao Lisheng, 5. Zhang Linpeng, 6. Feng Xiaoting (14. Feng Renliang +62’), 9. Elkeson de Oliveira Cardoso, 10. Zheng Zhi (c) (3. Mei Fang +46’), 11. Muriqui, 16. Huang Bowen, 28. Kim Young Gwon, 32. Sun Xiang, 37. Zhao Xuri (33. Rong Hao +22’)

Unused Substitutes: 22. Li Shuai [GK], 4. Zhao Peng, 7. Feng Junyan, 21. Peng Xinli

Yellow Cards: Zhang Lipeng 41’, Liao Lisheng 82’

Red Cards: Nil

 

Referee: Fahad Almirdasi

Assistants: Badr Ali A Alshumrani, Nassir Mohammed A Al Mudhaffar, Nagor Amir Noor Mohamed

 

Ratings:

Pitch Rating: 9/10

Game Rating: 10/10

Player Points:

3. – Nathan Coe

2. – Pablo Contreras

1. – James Troisi / Jason Geria

 

By Tomasz Ng