Melbourne Victory recorded a thrilling 5-4 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers in the A-League on Friday.
Ben Folami scored a first-half brace at Marvel Stadium, where Storm Roux also netted in the opening 45 minutes to go with James Troisi’s goal for the Wanderers.
Jake Brimmer had a penalty saved before Dylan Ryan’s goal and a Jacob Butterfield stunner had Victory 5-1 up.
But Western Sydney fought hard as Graham Dorrans’ penalty and strikes from Mitchell Duke and Nicolai Muller made for a nervous finish, but Victory held on.
While the Wanderers looked dangerous early, Folami opened the scoring for Victory with his first A-League goal in the 14th minute.
Robbie Kruse and Callum McManaman combined before the former dinked a cross to the back post, where Folami coolly volleyed in.
Western Sydney went close at the other end as Bernie Ibini’s effort from distance struck the crossbar.
But Victory doubled its lead prior to the half-hour mark through Roux.
The full-back met a Brimmer corner with a free header to make it 2-0.
Victory almost struck again a minute later, Kruse denied by a good save from Wanderers goalkeeper Daniel Margush after a Folami cross.
Instead, Western Sydney pulled a goal back through a powerful effort from Troisi.
But Victory restored its two-goal advantage on the stroke of half-time as Folami put away a corner from Brimmer to make it 3-1.
Victory was put under pressure to begin the second half, with Brandon Lauton forced into a clearance off the line.
But it had a chance to extend its lead when Folami was brought down in the area by Ziggy Gordon following a great run, only for Brimmer to be denied from the penalty spot by Margush.
However, the resultant corner saw Ryan tap in at the back post following a flick on from McManaman.
Butterfield added to Victory’s lead with a spectacular strike from distance before a nervous finish.
Dorrans, Duke and Muller scored for the Wanderers, but Victory held on to claim three points.
Player in focus
What they said – Folami
on the win…
“Really good, really happy to get the two goals and more importantly we got the win so that’s all that matters.”
“It’s very important to have Krusey. He’s someone who has so much experience, he’s valuable to our team, he’s a good leader and he’s someone who adds a lot to our attack.”
Hyundai A-League 2020/21
Melbourne Victory 5 (Ben Folami 14’/45+3′, Storm Roux 28′, Dylan Ryan 63′, Jacob Butterfield 73′)
Western Sydney Wanderers 4 (James Troisi 31′, Graham Dorrans 76′ pen, Mitchell Duke 86′, Nicolai Muller 88′)
Melbourne Victory: Acton (gk); Roux, Broxham (c) (Anderson 88′), Ryan, Lauton; Brimmer, Butterfield; McManaman, Kruse (Barnett 90+5′), Folami (Brooks 84′); Gestede.
Western Sydney Wanderers: Margush (gk); Gordon (Russell 64′), McGowan, Ziegler, Aquilina; Dorrans (Mourdoukoutas 79′); Kamau, O’Doherty (Muller 61′), Troisi, Ibini (Mutch 79′); Duke.
Yellow cards: McGowan 45+2′, McManaman 55′, Gestede 56′, Kruse 76′, Ziegler 90′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Marvel Stadium
Victory has a short turnaround with a trip to face Sydney FC on Tuesday, April 27.