Melbourne Victory fell 0-1 in their home opener against Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Melbourne and Western Sydney were welcomed to AAMI Park by an incredible football atmosphere created by both fanbases.
A pumping North End set the tone for a tense evening of action as Victory returned home for the first time this season.
George Timotheou‘s inclusion and subsequent switch to full-back for the versatile Leigh Broxham was the only change to Tony Popovic’s side who overcame Sydney FC 3-2 last week.
But the performance failed to match their Round One heroics.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Luis Nani – who, playing in front of his new home fans for the first time – was just inches away from sending AAMI Park into a frenzy in the early stages.
The Wanderers made the breakthrough in the 41st minute through Tomislav Mrcela, finishing in the box following a scrappy moment.
Round One hero Chris Ikonomidis was injected into the action alongside Noah Smith in the 67th minute and the pair almost linked up to create the equaliser in their first piece of action.
Victory’s best chance of equalising arrived in the 85th minute, as Nick D’Agostino was pulled down from behind as he led a rapid counter attack.
Josh Brillante‘s resulting free-kick aired just high of the top corner as the stadium held its breath.
Victory surged towards an equaliser for the remainder of the contest but were unable to break down a solid Wanderers defence.
Victory now hold a 1-0-1 record ahead of next week’s Melbourne Derby.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2022/23 Round 2
Melbourne Victory 0
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Mrcela 41′)
Victory host a huge Melbourne Derby against cross-town rivals Melbourne City next Saturday night.
Purchase tickets HERE.