Melbourne Victory overcame Adelaide United 2-1 in an entertaining clash in the Isuzu UTE A-League on Saturday.
Nishan Velupillay scored a 78th-minute winner at Coopers Stadium as Victory bounced back from last week’s loss.
Francesco Margiotta’s opener had earlier been cancelled out by Jacob Tratt, but Victory found a winner in front of its rapturous travelling support.
A late red card to Jason Davidson soured the win, which marked Victory’s third in four league games this season.
After a relatively cagey opening, the encounter started to come to life following a tight first 15 minutes.
Margiotta saw a long-range effort fly over before Craig Goodwin fired a 20-yard strike straight at Victory goalkeeper Ivan Kelava.
Following a punched clearance by Reds goalkeeper James Delianov, Marco Rojas’ shot was saved, while Josh Brillante scuffed another opportunity wide.
A huge opportunity fell to Jake Brimmer midway through the first half, but the Victory midfielder was off target with an open goal to aim at.
There were four yellow cards in the space of six first-half minutes as the clash between rivals started to heat up.
It was Victory which finished the half the far stronger and the visitor should have been ahead before the break.
Rojas was denied in a one-on-one by Delianov after a brilliant team move, which saw Brimmer play the winger in behind.
Another glorious chance went begging for Rojas a minute before the break, hitting the post in a one-on-one after getting in behind following a pass from Matthew Spiranovic, who was making his first league start since May 2019.
Victory thought it was ahead through Davidson, but the left-back’s curling strike was ruled out due to an offside call against Margiotta in the 51st minute.
It was the Italian who would open the scoring just before the hour-mark.
Brimmer’s long-range strike was well saved by Delianov, but Rojas followed up, crossing for Margiotta to put away a composed finish into the bottom corner.
Adelaide grew into the contest before Kelava made a superb stop to deny Goodwin with 20 minutes remaining, only for a powerful Ben Halloran cross to be turned in by Tratt.
Victory would find a winner through Velupillay’s first Isuzu UTE A-League goal.
Ben Folami played Robbie Kruse through down the left and the attacker crossed for Velupillay to tap in the winner.
A second yellow card for Davidson in the 88th minute meant Victory had to see out the closing stages with 10 men, but the visitor managed to hold on for three points.
What they said – Velupillay
on his winner in front of the travelling fans…
“They’re the best fans in the country, they’re unreal. When I put that ball in, I was going to run to them because they’ve shown great support to come over here all the way to Adelaide.”
on responding to equaliser…
“We learnt from last week where we kind of lost our game style. So when they came back, we kept our game style, kept the passes short and eventually the spaces opened up and we scored.”
Player in focus
Rojas was unable to convert two good chances in the first half, but still managed to set up Margiotta’s opener with a composed cross.
It marked the first time since January 2017 that Victory has beaten Adelaide at Coopers Stadium. Victory will finish the round in second on the table, a point behind Macarthur.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 4
Adelaide United 1 (Jacob Tratt 70′)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Francesco Margiotta 59′, Nishan Velupillay 78′)
Adelaide United: Delianov (gk); Tratt, Juande, Jakobsen, Cavallo; Mauk (c), Isaias, D’Arrigo (Bernardo 70′); Halloran, Yengi (Toure 72′), Goodwin.
Melbourne Victory: Kelava (gk); Geria, Spiranovic, Roderick, Davidson; Broxham, Brillante (c); Rojas (Velupillay 68′), Brimmer (D’Agostino 81′), Folami (Brooks 81′ (Nigro 90′)); Margiotta (Kruse 68′).
Yellow cards: Yengi 26′, Roderick 27′, Davidson 29’/88′, Isaias 31′, Halloran 39′, Tratt 53′, Kruse 90+5′
Red cards: Davidson 88′
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Victory faces City in a blockbuster Melbourne Derby at AAMI Park on Saturday, December 18.