Own-goal extends Victory’s unbeaten run
By Agron Dauti:
Hyundai A-League Season 10 – 2014/15 – Round 7
7:40 pm, Friday 21 November 2014 – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Melbourne Victory FC 1
(Jade North (OG) 77’)
Brisbane Roar FC 0
Melbourne Victory has continued its unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 defeat of reigning A-League champions Brisbane Roar at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
23, 740 fans flocked to the Docklands stadium to witness a matchup that pitted a Victory side with marquee signing Besart Berisha against his old side in a clash that many expected to be tightly contested – and it was, with Jade North’s own goal in the 77th minute separating the two sides.
Melbourne’s Fahid Ben Khalfallah worked in a free-kick from the right wing that was struck by Besart Berisha but the ball took a deflection off an unlucky Jade North to find its way into the back of the net and give the home side its fourth win of the season.
In a tightly contested first half, it was Brisbane’s Thomas Broich who fired off the first effort – a low shot in space that was easily saved by Nathan Coe in the 8th minute.
Melbourne marksman Besart Berisha almost pulled one back against his former side in the 22nd minute after latching onto a brilliantly timed through ball from Daniel Georgievski but his effort from a tough angle was saved by an outstretched Jamie Young.
Just moments later the visitors would demonstrate their set-piece prowess and threaten the Victory goal when Thomas Broich’s well-worked free kick was met by Brandon Borrello but Nathan Coe was able to deny the Roar forward.
The Roar almost gave the home side an unlikely goal in the 40th minute after Daniel Bowles almost turned a Gui Finkler cross into his own goal – luckily for Bowles, his clearing header fell onto the roof of the net.
After a scoreless first half, the Victory looked to have grabbed the opener in the 56th minute when Adrian Leijer rose high to head in a ball that was taken over the line by Jamie Young – however the Victory defender was judged to be offside by the linesman.
The breakthrough would come in the 77th minute and although Berisha was at the centre of the action, it was Jade North who unwillingly turned the ball into the net for an own goal with a deflection – sending cheers around Etihad Stadium.
Fahid Ben Khalfallah had a chance to put the nail in the Brisbane coffin in the 92nd minute after blazing forward and finding himself one-on-one with Jamie Young but the Brisbane stopper was able to deny the Victory winger.
In an end-to-end contest, both sides had four shots on target apiece but it would be the home side who would walk away with the three points as well as momentum heading into next round’s clash with Adelaide United.
Melbourne Victory will welcome Josep Gombau’s Adelaide United to AAMI Park on Friday with kick-off scheduled for 7:40 pm.
Crowd: 23, 740
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Nathan Coe (GK), 5.Mark Milligan (Captain) 6.Leigh Broxham, 7.Gui Finkler (11.Connor Pain 67’), 8.Besart Berisha, 10.Archie Thompson (9.Kosta Barbarouses 57’), 14.Fahid Ben Khalfallah, 15.Daniel Georgievski, 21.Carl Valeri (16.Rashid Mahazi 86’), 23.Adrian Leijer, 24.Scott Galloway
Substitutes not used: 20.Lawrence Thomas (GK), 22.Jesse Marakounas
Coach: Kevin Muscat
Yellow Cards: C. Valeri 21’, M. Milligan 35’
Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 21.Jamie Young (GK), 2.Matt Smith (Captain), 3.Shane Stefanutto (15.James Donachie 17’), 10.Henrique, 13.Jade North, 14.Daniel Bowles, 17.Matt McKay (8.Steven Lustica 81’), 18.Luke Brattan, 22.Thomas Broich, 23.Dimitri Petratos, 28.Brandon Borrello (7.Mensur Kurtishi 67’)
Substitutes not used: 30.Matthew Acton (GK), 34.Shannon Brady
Coach: Mike Mulvey
Yellow Cards: M. McKay 29’, J. North 45’, L. Brattan 65’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Chris Beath 8/10
Assistants: George Lakrindis, Anton Shchetinin; 4th official: Patrick Chaplin
BOTN Player Points:
3. A. Leijer (Melbourne Victory)
2. F. Ben Khalfallah (Melbourne Victory)
1. T. Broich (Brisbane Roar)
Pitch rating: 8/10
Game rating: 6/10
By Agron Dauti