Melbourne Victory climbed into third in the Isuzu UTE A-League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Adelaide United on Saturday.
An early goal from Marco Rojas proved to be enough for Victory in an entertaining contest at Coopers Stadium.
As well as climbing into third, Victory extended its unbeaten run in the league to seven games.After a lively start, Victory went ahead through Rojas’ third league goal of the season.
Francesco Margiotta’s pass found Jason Geria down the right and the full-back produced a cutback to Rojas, who finished to make it 1-0 in the seventh minute.
Adelaide almost equalised just before the half-hour mark, Lachlan Brook striking the post after finding space in the area.
Victory goalkeeper Ivan Kelava was forced into a save just prior to half-time as Hiroshi Ibusuki powered a header straight at him from Craig Goodwin’s set-piece.
Chris Ikonomidis had a great chance to double Victory’s lead in the 57th minute, but the forward’s strike after a wonderful pass from Jake Brimmer was well saved by Adelaide shot-stopper Steven Hall.
Victory thought it had gone 2-0 up just prior to the hour-mark, but Rojas’ effort after a Margiotta pass was ruled out for offside.
Ibusuki put a good chance over for Adelaide in the 67th minute as Victory continued to hold firm.
However, a goal-line clearance from Matt Spiranovic was needed to keep Victory’s lead intact with two minutes remaining as it held on.
What they said – Josh Brillante
on the game…
“It’s always a tough match coming here. Again, it was no different so very happy with our performance, we stuck it out. The last few games, results have not gone our way, we’ve had great performances and not got the win, so today we were able to do that.”
on holding on…
“Just fighting and the small little details, making sure that you put in an effort all the way to the end because all it takes is that one little chance and I thought we did really well.”
Player in focus
As well as an assist, Geria was immense for Victory. The right-back produced a huge defensive performance after setting up the match-winner.
After extending its unbeaten run in the Isuzu UTE A-League, Victory climbed into third on the table. It also holds games in hand on the teams around it.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 21
Adelaide United 0
Melbourne Victory 1 (Marco Rojas 7′)
Adelaide United: Hall (gk); Lopez, Juande, Timotheou, Cavallo (Dukuly 64′); Isaias, D’Arrigo; Toure (Caletti 24′ (Irankunda 85′)), Brook (Kasumovic 85′), Goodwin (c); Ibusuki (Konstandopoulos 85′).
Melbourne Victory: Kelava (gk); Geria, Hamill, Spiranovic, Davidson; Brillante (c), Broxham; Rojas (Velupillay 77′), Brimmer (Marchan 87′), Ikonomidis (Folami 69′); Margiotta (D’Agostino 77′).
Yellow cards: Spiranovic 27′, Ibusuki 45+3′, Margiotta 49′, Juande 61′, Lopez 66′, Kelava 90+6′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Coopers Stadium
With a busy April ahead, Victory makes the trip to Perth to face the Glory on Wednesday.