Melbourne Victory returned to Isuzu UTE A-League action in style, recording a 3-1 win over Macarthur on Friday.
Back in action for the first time since February 19, Victory produced an impressive performance at AAMI Park.
Nick D’Agostino scored a first-half brace before Marco Rojas struck approaching the hour-mark in a convincing win, with Apostolos Giannou denying Victory a clean sheet late on.
It was Victory who created the first real chance in the 11th minute, D’Agostino’s header from a Chris Ikonomidis cross well saved by Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Kurto.
Victory took the lead nine minutes later through D’Agostino’s fifth goal of the Isuzu UTE A-League season.
The forward’s high pressure was rewarded as he intercepted an Aleksandar Susnjar pass before finishing clinically in a one-on-one with Kurto.
The lively Ikonomidis almost struck seven minutes before half-time, stepping to his right before forcing a good stop from Kurto.
But D’Agostino doubled Victory’s lead on the stroke of half-time.
Jason Davidson’s set-piece from the left went uncleared and D’Agostino finished well from inside the area.
Victory made it 3-0 before the hour-mark thanks to Rojas’ first goal of the season.
D’Agostino and Josh Brillante combined beautifully down the left before the latter crossed for Rojas to tap in.
Victory almost added a fourth through Jake Brimmer, who fired over after a cutback from Ben Folami.
Another fine team move almost led to a fourth with 11 minutes remaining, Folami denied by a Kurto save after nice work from Nishan Velupillay and Brimmer.
Giannou scored a late consolation goal for Macarthur in the 90th minute in what was an otherwise dominant Victory performance.
What they said – Brillante
on the result…
“It’s been such a topsy-turvy season. We’ve had COVID postponements, lots of games in a couple of weeks, now no games for a couple of weeks, now back to lots of games. To stay focused and to come out tonight and put in a good effort like this at home is just massive for us so very happy.”
on conceding late…
“I’m super disappointed and I know that everyone else will be too. We gave them nothing and then we let them score a goal like that. It’s a big part of our game and we need to fix those little things up because in some games that can make the difference.”
Player in focus
D’Agostino was a threat throughout for Victory and was rewarded with a first-half brace that set up the win.
Victory sits fifth on the table, a point behind third-placed Macarthur, who have played one more game.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 17
Melbourne Victory 3 (Nick D’Agostino 20’/45+2′, Marco Rojas 58′)
Macarthur 1 (Apostolos Giannou 90′)
Melbourne Victory: Kelava (gk); Geria, Hamill, Roderick, Davidson; Broxham (Kirdar 74′), Brillante (c); Rojas (Folami 62′), Brimmer, Ikonomidis (Velupillay 74′); D’Agostino (Margiotta 62′).
Macarthur: Kurto (gk); Susnjar, Mariappa, Meredith (Jovanovic 46′); Liam Rose (Najjar 71′), M’Mombwa, Oar (Mutch 59′), Davila (Jordan 80′), Noone (Toure 46′); Lachlan Rose, Giannou.
Yellow cards: Geria 3′, Hamill 19′, Rojas 41′, Broxham 63′, Giannou 68′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory makes the trip to Gosford to face the Central Coast Mariners on Wednesday.