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Dec 30, 2023   |  10:52PM AET

Men’s Match Report | Victory go top to end 2023

Men’s Match Report | Victory go top to end 2023

Late goals from Zinedine Machach and Bruno Fornaroli made all the difference as Melbourne Victory defeated Adelaide United 2-0 and ensured they will finish 2023 on top of the A-League Men’s table.

Summary

Following last week’s Derby draw, Victory came into Saturday night’s Original Rivalry game hoping to end 2023 on an ideal note.

Tony Popovic’s team looked strong throughout the first half, creating several high quality opportunities.

Roderick Miranda came close early in the contest, heading the ball into the post in the 17th minute.

Daniel Arzani posed a serious threat throughout the half, with his best chance forcing an excellent save from Adelaide goalkeeper Joe Gauci 10 minutes before half-time.

Victory had the ball in the back of the net soon after via a Bruno Fornaroli header, but the assistant referee’s flag curtailed any celebrations.

When the half-time whistle arrived neither team had made the breakthrough, but the game remained finely poised heading into the second 45.

Popovic turned to his bench soon after the re-start, as Jake Brimmer replaced Fabian Monge

Victory continued to create the better chances in the second half, with Connor Chapman’s volley and Brimmer’s free-kick each coming close.

Despite their attempts, Victory appeared to be headed for a second consecutive 0-0 draw, with Adelaide continuing to repel each attack.

The resistance though would eventually broken, thanks largely to a delightful run on the left wing from Nishan Velupillay, which ended with a perfect cross to the feet of Zinedine Machach, who made no mistake with the finish.

A vital goal with under 20 minutes remaining, putting Victory in pole position to claim all three points.

Despite having taken the lead, the home side showed no signs of slowing down as the game neared its conclusion.

Ben Folami, Chris Ikonomidis and Eli Adams were all brought onto the pitch after the opening goal, as Victory looked to build on their advantage.

The ambition was rewarded late in the contest, with a swift attacking move eventually finding the feet of Fornaroli in the box.

The striker showed all of his class, finishing superbly to double Victory’s lead in his final game before joining the Socceroos Asian Cup squad.

A superb end to the contest for Victory, securing all three points and guaranteeing they will finish 2023 on top of the A-League Men’s ladder.

Next Match

Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
Date: Saturday 6 January
Time: 9:45pm (AEDT)
Location: HBF Park, Perth