Luck deserts Victory

Melbourne Victory interim coach Mehmet Durakovic has bemoaned his side’s luck after they drew 1-1 with Jeju United on Wednesday.

Melbourne Victory interim coach Mehmet Durakovic has bemoaned his side’s luck after they drew 1-1 with Jeju United on Wednesday.

The result ended the club’s hopes of progressing to the next stage of the AFC Champions League but Victory were desperately unlucky, with an amazing five goals being disallowed for offside at the Jeju World Cup stadium.

Three of the decisions appeared to be correct but video replays showed Danny Allsopp’s early strike and Archie Thompson’s effort early into the second half should have stood, frustrating Durakovic who lamented what might have been, despite Diogo Ferreira’s stunning second-half equaliser.

“I’ve never been involved in a game like that in my life, as a footballer or as a coach,” Durakovic said from Korea on Thursday.

“There was two clear goals that should have stood. We started off really well and if the linesman hadn’t of put his flag up (for Allsopp’s goal) which was clearly onside, we are one up, in the fourth minute of the game.”

“All credit to the boys, we really played well in the second half and deserved more than a point. It doesn’t help when you get decisions like that.”

The match mirrored Melbourne’s lack of luck throughout the AFC Champions League campaign and if things had of been slightly different, Durakovic insists his side could have qualified for the next stage.

“I must have run over a black cat or something,” he said.

“As a coach, you never want to make excuses but the amount of chances we’ve had and some awful decisions by the referees… we could have definitely deserved to qualify, if not in first spot, at least in second spot because we would have got points and the other teams would have dropped points.”

“But I really can’t ask anything more from the players, these guys have brilliant for the last month and a half and we have been unbeaten (in Durakovic’s four matches in charge).”

Durakovic also made special mention of Kevin Muscat and Robbie Kruse, who both made their last appearance for Victory on Wednesday, with the former having retired and Kruse headed for Germany to link up with his new club Fortuna Dusseldorf.

“What can you say about Kevin Muscat? He’s been sensational, not just for Melbourne Victory but for Australian football in itself. He will be sorely missed, but he’ll be the Assistant Coach and he’ll have a lot of influence in these youngsters coming up,” he said.

“Robbie Kruse has been sensational since he has come to Melbourne Victory. He had a phenomenal game last night and we all wish him all the best. He’s got a bright future and it was a pleasure knowing him and being his coach for the last month and a half.”

Durakovic added that he wants to win the senior job and hopes the way his side has played in recent times will give him a good chance.

The Melbourne Victory squad will now return to training for a fortnight, before they embark on a well-earned off-season break.