Melbourne Victory’s A-League Men have returned home to Victoria in epic fashion, claiming all three points at AAMI Park against Macarthur FC in the Club’s ANZAC Round.
A strong Sunday home performance has proven to be huge for the Victory, rising late to steal all three points against Macarthur and shooting themselves up and off the foot of the ladder.
Victory set the tone early through Fernando Romero, who started a sweeping move at one end of the pitch, before getting forward for Kadete’s well weighted cross, putting his side in the lead and taking his season’s tally to two.
Romero’s finish set the Victory up to continue peppering Macarthur’s goal for the remainder of the first half, but the lack of a clinical finishing touch hampered Melbourne’s ability to extend the lead.
Victory held the ascendency heading into the half-time break, and had the stats to ensure they remained confident, knowing they were unbeaten in their last nine games when leading at half-time.
Melbourne opened the second half with the same approach as the first, continuing to put Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Kurto under copious amounts of pressure, to which he had an answer for everything.
A spell of Macarthur pressure came mid-way through the second half, which derailed Victory’s approach for a short amount of time, forcing the navy blue to sit back and absorb the pressure.
Bruno Fornaroli’s intent was obvious throughout the entire 90 minutes on Sunday, and he was quick to beat both sets of players to reaching five shots on target 60 minutes in.
The Bulls’ spell of possession would eventually take its toll on the Victory, as Macarthur captain Tomi Uskok nodded home from a corner to equalise 65 minutes in.
Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic awarded Club Academy star Jordi Valadon with his debut, and the 20-year-old was impressive early on – recording his first senior attempt at goal, which came close to being his first goal in a Victory shirt.
Chris Ikonomidis was next to come close, his curling effort just evaded the net, instead rattling Kurto’s woodwork and bouncing back into play.
A flurry of attacking chances came shortly after, with Bruno Fornaroli, Rai Marchan, Connor Chapman, Lleyton Brooks and Bruce Kamau all trying their luck. Yet the score remained 1-1.
The match officials arrived at the decision to add 5 minutes onto the end of the 90, extending Victory’s chances of delivering a decisive blow.
Victory’s statistical dominance carried through right to the very end, finishing the 90 minutes with 25 shots at Filip Kurto’s goal.
At long last, Victory found the breakthrough through substitute Lleyton Brooks in the fifth minute of added time.
Chris Ikonomidis’ third assist of the season came in the form of a perfectly weighted cross to find Brooks, who’s impressive leap gave him the advantage he needed to become Melbourne’s hero.
Sunday’s win lifts Victory from the bottom of the League ladder and into 10th as the focus now turns to finishing the season on a high, with another win against Brisbane at home on Saturday week.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2022/23 Round 25
Melbourne Victory 2 (Romero 3′, Brooks 94′)
Macarthur FC 1 (Uskok 66′)
Victory remain at home in Melbourne to host the Brisbane Roar for the Club’s final match of the 2022/23 Isuzu UTE A-League season.