A brace from Rudy Gestede saw Melbourne Victory to a 2-0 win over the Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Wednesday.
Gestede’s first goals for the club, both from Jake Brimmer corners, helped Victory to a much-needed win.
Dalibor Markovic and Zaydan Bello made their debuts for a youthful Victory, which grabbed an important three points.
Victory had the better of the chances in the first half despite losing Dylan Ryan and Marco Rojas to injuries.
Gestede forced an excellent save from Phoenix goalkeeper Oliver Sail in the seventh minute after getting on the end of a cross from Callum McManaman.
Victory continued to push and created a flurry of chances to finish the first half.
McManaman was denied by Sail at his near post after a pass from Robbie Kruse in the 38th minute.
The winger tested Sail again from distance before Jake Brimmer curled a 20-yard effort just wide.
But Victory deservedly opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, Gestede heading in his first goal for the club from a Brimmer corner.
That duo combined again early in the second half as Gestede rose highest to head in another Brimmer corner and make it 2-0.
Victory goalkeeper Max Crocombe made a good stop to deny Reno Piscopo prior to the hour-mark before the host saw out a deserved win.
Player in focus
What they said – Gestede
on the win…
“That’s an amazing feeling. We’ve been in a tough position the last few games. We’ve never had the chance to play the full team, we had a lot of injuries. Today we showed everyone that we’re going to keep fighting and obviously we have the quality to win games.”
on the tough start…
“I’ve been in this position with Aston Villa, with Middlesbrough, we have to stick together, the only thing that’s going to make us get through it is play as a team and togetherness.”
“He (head coach Grant Brebner) brought me in this club, it was important for us to be grateful. We’re all involved, from the subs to the players walking in, the full club is involved in this victory and we’re going to make sure in the next game we keep fighting together.”
Hyundai A-League 2020/21
Melbourne Victory 2 (Rudy Gestede 45+3’/49′)
Wellington Phoenix 0
Melbourne Victory: Crocombe (gk); Broxham (c), Shotton (Bello 45′), Ryan (Anderson 5′), Markovic; Brimmer, Kirdar; McManaman (Barnett 73′), Kruse, Rojas (Butterfield 24′); Gestede (Lawrie-Lattanzio 73′).
Wellington Phoenix: Sail (gk); Fenton, Payne, McGing, McGarry; Devlin, Rufer; Muratovic (Lewis 50′), Davila (c), Piscopo (Lokolingoy 75′); Waine.
Yellow cards: Muratovic 18′, McGarry 25′, Broxham 34′, Shotton 37′, Fenton 51′, Markovic 55′, Anderson 62′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory’s busy run of games continues when it hosts Western United at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.