Men’s Match Report: Late drama as Victory held to draw

Two late goals ensured Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United could not be separated as they played out an entertaining 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon.


Head coach Tony Popovic named an unchanged lineup for the Pride Cup fixture following last week’s derby success against Melbourne City.

The game started as a cagey affair, with both sides settling into their shapes and building into the contest.

Victory’s first chance came in the 11th minute when a Chris Ikonomidis shot from outside the box was fired on target, but Adelaide goalkeeper Joe Gauci dealt with it comfortably.

A positive few minutes followed for the home side as they slowly increased the pressure on the Reds’ defence, although there was no reward on the scoreboard.

The first half remained tight throughout, with Popovic’s side looking the more likely to break the deadlock.

A wonderful run from Ben Folami led to a cross which found Bruno Fornaroli in the box, but the striker could not quite force the ball over the line.

Ikonomidis again came close with ten minutes remaining when his shot from close range was kept out once more by Gauci at full stretch.

Victory’s positive first half though ended on a sour note, when Jake Brimmer was forced off the field due to an injury.

Nishan Velupillay came on in his place just minutes before the half-time whistle blew with scores locked at 0-0.

The second half immediately showed greater intensity, as Victory looked to build on their strong start to the game.

Paul Izzo continued to impress since his return, executing an acrobatic save just over 10 minutes into the half which kept out a shot destined for the top corner.

Jason Geria’s strike on the hour mark rattled the crossbar, as the home side continued to edge closer to the breakthrough.

Victory finally breached the Adelaide defence with the help of a VAR review which deemed Damien Da Silva had been fouled in the penalty area.

Fornaroli subsequently dispatched the spot-kick, taking Victory into the lead with under 10 minutes of regular time remaining.

However, Adelaide young gun Nestory Irankunda would rescue a late point for the Reds with a brilliant strike from outside the box in the 87th minute.

Both sides were forced to settle for a point as the final whistle blew, bringing an end to a drama-filled second half.


How about this save from Paul Izzo…


Another point at home takes Victory’s tally to 18, just six behind Sydney FC in sixth position.


Isuzu UTE A-League 2022/23 Round 18
Melbourne Victory 1 (Fornaroli (pen) 81′)
Adelaide United 1 (Irankunda 87′)


Victory head to Sydney next week for a huge meeting with Sydney FC kicking off at 7:45pm AEDT on Saturday 4th March.