Tag Archives: Melbourne Victory

Victory Thrash Wellington Ahead of Derby

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Melbourne Victory 3 – Wellington Phoenix 1
Three goals in the game’s first twenty-five minutes sealed an important three points at AAMI Park for Melbourne Victory in a 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix. Archie Thompson (pictured) opened with a header in the 4th minute before Carlos Hernández had his shot from distance redirect off of Vince Lia and past Tony Warner in the 22nd. Just three minutes later, Diogo Ferreira blasted in a volley from outside the box, thrilling the home support and wrapping up all three points. The Victory were reduced again to ten men when Billy Celeski was sent off in the 78th minute for his second yellow card and the Phoenix responded seven minutes later with Alex Smith producing a consolation goal for the hapless visitors. Wellington cling to sixth place and are passed by the Victory who are now in fifth, just three points behind rivals Melbourne Heart for third place.

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10-Man Victory Survive Gold Coast

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Melbourne Victory 3 – Gold Coast United 2
Two goals up after 22 minutes, Melbourne Victory had Rody Vargas sent off, conceded twice and needed a header from Carlos Hernández, of all people, to emerge with a 3-2 win over Gold Coast United at AAMI Park. Playing their first game of the season at AAMI, the Victory looked to have the match wrapped after a first minute penalty was converted by Harry Kewell and a 22nd minute spot kick was scored by Hernández. But Vargas went in on Gol-Gol Mebrahtu with two feet and with studs up, earning a straight red card in the 33rd minute. Mebrahtu won a penalty just before half-time, which was scored by substitute Dylan Macallister, bringing the visitors back into the game. Peter Jungschläger brought further intrigue when he scored just two minutes after the break to level the score and bring reminders of the Victory’s lost two-goal lead just a week earlier. But Hernández headed in an Archie Thompson chip in the 79th minute to finally secure all three points for the home side. Kristian Rees did keep it interesting to the end, hitting the post, just as Jonas Salley had done in the first half, but it was not to be for the A-League’s bottom side. Melbourne jump all the way to third place with the three points, clearing Sydney FC on goal difference.

Wellington Phoenix 2 – Sydney FC 1
Speaking of Sydney, they were the lesser side for the majority of their match away to Wellington, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium. Though the crowds did not turn out as they’d done in Auckland last weekend, the Yellow Fever were treated to an early goal from the spectacular Paul Ifill and and stunning goal from Tim Brown. The latter will surely be atop the list for Goal of the Year in the A-League as the midfielder slipped around Nicky Carle to claim Liam Reddy’s clearance before lobbing the helpless keeper from nearly fifty yards. That 59th minute goal was vital as a weird goal from Bruno Cazarine pulled one back for the visitors in the 70th minute. Yet the Phoenix were able to hold on with Mirjan Pavlović playing a key role in continuing the home side’s pressure to the end. Gathering full points from a top three (at the time) club was a good win for Wellington and lifts them to eighth place, just a point out of finals football and just two points shy of third place. Sydney had two shouts for penalties in the match, finally do not get a late equalizer or winner and sink to fourth place, now behind Melbourne Victory on goal difference.

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Heart Finally Break Through

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Melbourne Heart 3 – Newcastle Jets 0
Three second half goals finally gave Melbourne Heart the breakthrough they have so narrowly missed so far this season in a 3-0 defeat of Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park. Though less than 6000 turned up to watch the A-League’s last place side host the second place Jets, those who did manage to go were treated to an interesting and attacking match from both sides. Despite finishing the first half scoreless, bot sides had good looks at the goal, with the home side coming closest on more than one occasion. Yet it was a goal from Fred (pictured) that opened the match up for Heart as he calmly blasted a shot after substitute Eli Barbalj did the hard work in the box. Fred’s 66th minute goal was quickly followed by Mate Dugandžić doubling the advantage when he collected a disastrous back pass from Tarek Elrich and easily beat Ben Kennedy in the 73rd. The rout was confirmed in the 85th minute when Aziz Behich, one of the best players on the pitch all night, created a shot for himself from the left side of the box and wonderfully curled the ball past Kennedy. The win was the first of the season for Heart though it does extend their unbeaten streak to four games. Meanwhile, the loss is a disappointing one for the Jets as they continue to work their way into the season under new, old manager Gary van Egmond.

Central Coast Mariners 0 – Melbourne Victory 0
A scoreless draw saw Melbourne Victory pick up another clean sheet, this time behind teenaged goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas at Bluetongue in Gosford. Yet the Victory were also kept from scoring for the fourth time this season in their third 0-0 match in six weeks, this time by Matt Ryan. Thomas watched thankfully as Central Coast’s Daniel McBreen’s first half header hit both the crossbar and the post near the half-hour after Rodrigo Vargas had cleared an earlier shot off the line. Late on, both Adrian Leijer and Troy Hearfield had excellent chances go begging as neither side could figure out a way to score. The shared points keep both sides within the realm of finals football, but just.

Perth Glory 0 – Sydney FC 1
And Sydney FC climbed all the way to second place by taking three points from Perth Glory at the nib Stadium. Mark Bridge scored in first half injury time as the Sky Blues spoiled Perth’s 15th anniversary celebration as Nicky Carle contributed the winning assist, marking the third straight game where his touch has given points for Sydney. Goalkeeper Liam Reddy was back in top form as he kept the visitors ahead during a second half barrage including saves against Bas van den Brink, Liam Miller and Danny Vukovic. The Glory’s Adam Hughes smashed the crossbar while Travis Dodd, Shane Smeltz and Mile Sterjovski all came agonizingly close for the home side during a frantic second half. In the end, Perth remain on nine points, now having lost their last three games. Sydney, after a slow start, are second only to Brisbane Roar at the top of the ladder.

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Archie Thompson – Goal Poacher

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Archie Thompson’s goal against Wellington Phoenix this past weekend was a work of magic, the likes of which we rarely see in the A-League, as he nutmegged Tim Brown and then perfectly placed a curling shot beyond the diving Tony Warner and inside the far post. It was a classically Thompson strike; perfectly weighted touch and then an expertly placed finish. Shane Smeltz may be quickly catching him as the A-League’s all-time leading scorer, but many of Thompson’s 54 goals in 115 Melbourne Victory games have exuded class. Here are five goals that sum him up. They aren’t necessarily his ‘best’ five strikes, but they all scream Archie Thompson and given the fine build-ups to most of them, Ernie Merrick’s Melbourne Victory as well…

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Nine-Man Victory Take First Points from Roar

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Melbourne Victory 2 – Brisbane Roar 2
Though the 33-game unbeaten streak continues, Brisbane Roar dropped two points for the first time this season in an exciting and bizarre 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory at the Etihad Stadium. Ante Čović was sent off in the first minute for taking out Besart Berisha on a breakaway in the box and Henrique scored the resulting penalty to give the visiting Roar an early advantage on the score sheet and numerically. But Archie Thompson scored a stunning equalizer in the 10th minute to give the Victory hope in a game that seemed lost. Amazingly, Thompson put the home side ahead with a very well taken goal in the 21st minute, providing a glimpse of a formula that might one day be used to defeat Brisbane. Yet Thomas Broich leveled terms just in the 27th with a low, hard free kick, providing the fourth and final goal before the half-hour. The Victory then lost defender Matt Foschini to a red card after a hard tackle on Broich ten minutes before half-time and were forced to continuously defend for the game’s final fifty-five minutes. Putting all nine players behind the ball, Melbourne managed to prevent Brisbane from scoring a third and somehow escaped with a draw and a point under truly strange circumstances. That point moves the Victory into fifth place while the Roar are now just four points clear of Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory atop the ladder.

Newcastle Jets 2 – Perth Glory 0
Indeed, Newcastle Jets moved into second place thanks to a quick first half brace from Jeremy Brockie at Ausgrid Stadium. The Jets got their first win in manager Gary van Egmond’s return as Brockie skillfully beat Perth’s defenders within ninety seconds in the 10th and 11th minutes. The All Whites striker scored both goals in spectacular fashion with the second being an early candidate for goal of the season as he flipped the ball over his marker and volleyed in for a 2-0 lead. Though the Glory did have some chances through Shane Smeltz, Billy Mehmet and Travis Dodd, this game belonged to the Jets. New recruit Frannie Jeffers marked his first game of his second stint with Newcastle with a nice performance as the home side controlled possession and importantly, the midfield. All three points lift the Jets past Perth into second place, though they are equal on nine points through five games. For the Glory, the loss was the second straight after winning their first three.

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Podcast Preview with Victory Blog

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The A-League US podcast returns with special guest James from Victory Blog and Victorycast. We look back at Melbourne Victory’s first win of the season, Archie Thompson’s goal, the role of Harry Kewell to this point and what it might take to take points from Brisbane Roar this weekend.

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Victory Find First Win Against 10-Man Phoenix

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Wellington Phoenix 1 – Melbourne Victory 2
It took four games to score but when they finally did, Melbourne Victory got a wonderful strike from Archie Thompson. The A-League’s all-time leading scorer got things going for the Victory after a difficult first half and led ultimately to a more open and focused attack from the visitors. Dani Sánchez led the way for Wellington at Westpac Stadium, creating chances for himself as well as the likes of Leo Bertos while defender Tony Lochhead again provided fine service, only to see shots by Sanchez and Tim Brown go begging. Despite dominating the first forty minutes, Wellington suddenly found themselves behind after Thompson’s cut-back drive into the box and lifted shot to the far post. Ben Sigmund, who had played admirably in defense for the Phoenix, was sent off in the 66th after taking down Thompson in the box. Carlos Hernández buried the resulting penalty, sending the Victory ahead 2-0. Sanchez pulled one back on a terrific one-touch shot in the 71st but Wellington could not figure out a way past Ante Čović over the game’s final twenty minutes. The Victory could have made it three but another Thompson goal was called back due to Marco Rojas being offside.

Gold Coast United 3 – Newcastle Jets 1
At Skilled Park, Gold Coast United were worthy recipients of three points as Maceo Rigters dominated Newcastle Jets in Gary van Egmond’s return to the touchline. The Dutch recruit scored his first goal for United in the 11th minute before just missing on two more blasts before a half-hour had passed. The Jets had nice chances of their own with Ruben Zadkovich missing just wide and Jobe Wheelhouse stoned by Glen Moss before the 30th minute. Ben Kennedy’s error just before the hour gave the home side the lead as the Jets’ goalkeeper could not hold on to Peter Jungschläger’s free kick, allowing Kristian Rees to score from the rebound. Wheelhouse got Newcastle on the score sheet with a goal in the 68th minute from a Ryan Griffiths free kick, but after Rees hit the post, James Brown scored his third goal of the season to finish off the game for the hosts. Though only 2974 were on hand for the game, United showed again that they may yet have a case for remaining in the A-League, at least based on their on-field performances.

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Harry Kewell, Deep-Lying Playmaker?

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Archie Thompson’s public outbursts last week about what he seems to see as a God-given right to lead the line for the Melbourne Victory (to be fair, he is the all-time leading A-League scorer, for the time being), questions can and should be raised about Mehmet Durakovic’s ability to control the egos in his squad and produce effective football, especially after he seemingly gave in to Thompson in the Melbourne derby. It was a big risk that in the end perhaps vindicated Durakovic’s decision to play him out wide previously, but also proved what has been obvious through all three Victory games so far, something is very wrong with their movement while they have the ball. Defensively, the side has been fairly solid and easily kept their Yarra-side rivals scoreless but their attacking woes have Victory fans used to some of the best attacking football in the league calling for the manager’s head already. Some serious work has to be done on the training park, but I think the key factor will be where Durakovic decides to play Harry Kewell.
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Round 3 A-League Weekend Results

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Saturday October 21:
Adelaide United 1
Sydney FC 2

Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Heart 0

Sunday October 22:
Perth Glory 1
Wellington Phoenix 0

Newcastle Jets 1
Central Coast Mariners 0

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Melbourne Derby Preview with Kieran Francis

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Kieran Francis, co-host of the AET Podcast, joins me to preview the Melbourne Derby from the Victory perspective. We chat about the need to score, Archie Thompson’s role, defensive questions and the impact of Harry Kewell.

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