Melbourne Victory stunned by Dandenong City in NPL defeat


Dandenong City has put on a display of resolute defence and quality finishing, putting five in the net to down league leaders Melbourne Victory at JL Murphy reserve on Saturday.

A goal to Keegan Ziada kicked off the scoring, before Sean Seavill added a brace, and goals to Shaun Filipovic and Andy Jerez completed the rout.

The visitors started the more lively of the two teams and controlled possession well through the midfield venturing deep into the final third. Victory threatened early down both flanks but couldn’t get the ball into their key striker Joey Katebian.

Keegan Ziada broke the deadlock after 36 minutes when he found space on the left, beat his defender with pace into the area. Going one-on-one with the keeper, Ziada confidently pushed it into the net to open the scoring.

The boys in blue lifted to find an equaliser and started to apply increasing pressure to the Dandenong back four.

With just two minutes on the clock before the half time break and somewhat against the run of play, Dandenong earned a free kick directly in front of goal about 25 yards out.

Seavill’s right foot strike curled and dipped into the top left corner, just avoiding the outstretched hand of Stephen Hatzikourtis. 

Dandenong City went into the break with confidence, up by two goals and certainly playing the more aggressive and controlling football. 

The opening stages of the second half were a balanced contest.

Neither team were able to establish sustained periods of possession and the next goal seemed to come from completely nothing.

Seavill put foot to ball meeting a strong cross but he faced an oncoming Victory keeper in Hatzikourtis who smothered the shot.

Both ball and Seavill went to ground but lying on his back with just one defender between himself and the net, a stab with the right boot made its way past Christian Cavallo and across the line to give City their third of the match.

As the Victory saw the red shirts starting to run away with the game, they would see red of a different kind just a minute later.

Striker Katebian laid a tackle in the middle of the pitch that resulted in him receiving a yellow card. But his verbal response to the referee found himself on the end of a second triggering the long walk back to the rooms. Victory were down to ten men for the remaining nineteen minutes of the match.

Dandenong lifted the tempo maximising their numerical advantage both on the scoreboard and in player numbers.

Chris Antoniadis made a run down the right flank into the area, beating two defenders and drawing two others.

A lateral pass to his left found an open Filipovic on the edge of the area, whose first time strike flew like a rocket into the bottom corner of the net delivering the team’s fourth goal. 

Putting the finishing touches on the match in stoppage time, Andy Jerez tapped in a stunning cross to beat Hatzikourtis and wrap it all up with the fifth and final goal of the match, Dandenong City running out 5-0 winners over Melbourne victory.

Dandenong City record win number eight for the season and a valuable three points consolidates their sixth position on the ladder.

Next week City return to the Frank Holohan Soccer Complex to complete the A-League franchise double where they will meet Melbourne City on their home turf.

Melbourne Victory, in a somewhat shock outcome, add just their second loss for the season to the results sheet.

They remain clearly out in front on the ladder some three games clear of Richmond in second.

With a goal difference of +50, this five goal defeat may serve as a reality check for the league leaders who with 10 rounds to play are favourites to top the ladder and earn promotion to the NPL in 2016.  

Next week, Melbourne Victory travels to Chaplin Reserve to take on Sunshine George Cross.