Men’s Match Report: Victory fall to Western United

Melbourne Victory’s A-League Men have narrowly fallen to Western United at home on Labor Monday.


Both sides struggled to settle into the game on a slippery AAMI Park surface, unable to fall into a comfortable flow.

Western United spurned an early opportunity from a free-kick, the chance failing to cause any trouble for the Victory defence.

Heroic defending from Frenchman Damien Da Silva saved his side from going 1-0 down, his diving header clearing the Western United threat.

United took the lead after a period of sustained pressure through Noah Botic 38 minutes in, who headed past Paul Izzo at the back post.

With work to do in the second half, Victory made a double change at half-time, seeing Fernando Romero and Rai Marchan given 45 minutes to help change the game.

Victory started the better of the two sides in the second half, a bright start from kick off resulted in a free-kick which gave Da Silva the chance to draw the game level – but he couldn’t turn his shot on target.

Five minutes after the restart, Bruno Fornaroli won his side a free-kick in an ideal position, and dispatched the set piece, drawing the navy blue level.

With the Victory back level, a new energy and intensity had entered the building thanks to the equalising strike and attacking desperation of Paraguayan Fernando Romero.

14 minutes after scoring from the free-kick, Fornaroli came within inches of finding his and the Victory’s second, but his effort went wide with his back to goal.

Within a matter of seconds, Fornaroli had yet another look at goal with a half volley from distance after stealing the ball from United’s Tongo Doumbia. Again, the striker could not manage to direct the effort on goal, with the ball sent wide of Jamie Young’s goal.

Fernando Romero continued to knock on the door for the entirety of his substitute appearance, but failed to convert his otherwise promising and well created chances in front of goal.

Western United regained their lead with 20 minutes to go through Aleksandar Prijović, taking the sting out the Victory’s attacking long lasting attacking foray.

Victory were left frustrated and unable to add to their list of chances as the final whistle blew on a disappointing day at home.


Bruno Fornaroli’s free-kick was executed expertly.


Monday’s loss means Victory now sit 9 points outside of the A-League Men’s top six. With six games remaining, there are a total of 18 points for the taking.


ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Round 20
Melbourne Victory 1 (Fornaroli 50′)
Western United 2 (Botic 38′, Prijovic 69′)


Victory stay in Melbourne for a second week to host the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday March 19.