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Dec 26, 2022   |  9:26PM AET

Men’s Match Report: Western United 1-0 Victory

Men’s Match Report: Western United 1-0 Victory

Melbourne Victory were unable to breakdown a steadfast Western United on Monday evening, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat at AAMI Park.

SUMMARY

Victory returned to the field for their Boxing Day clash without Nani in the squad due to a leg injury, but welcomed captain Josh Brillante back into the starting lineup.

The game began as a cagey affair, with both sides settling into their defensive formations.

Chances though started to flow after 20 minutes.

The first opportunity fell to Nick D’Agostino when he was played in behind after 22 minutes, but the striker’s shot flew wide of the post despite generating plenty of power.

Bruno Fornaroli came even closer ten minutes later when he fired from range, but again the shot was just off target.

The first major incident of the game arose in the 32nd minute, when Western centre-back Nikolai Topor-Stanley was shown a red card for a dangerous challenge on Chris Ikonomidis.

The sending off catalysed Western into their best period of the match, with Aleksandar Prijovic’s deflected shot rolling just wide of the post a few minutes later.

Half-time approached with the game still locked at 0-0, but Western landed a significant blow in injury time when Josh Risdon’s header opened the scoring following a corner.

Tony Popovic’s side went into the sheds a goal down, but knowing they had a player advantage for the entire second 45.

Victory started the second half brightly, unsurprisingly dominating the possession and territory.

Western’s defence continued to hold firm though, forcing Popovic to turn to his bench after an hour played.

Victory exhausted their attacking options throughout the second half, with the likes of Ben Folami, Will Wilson and Nishan Velupillay all brought on in an attempt to find a way through Western’s sturdy backline.

Victory came agonisingly close in the 87th minute, when the ball fell perfectly following a corner for substitute Stefan Nigro to unleash a shot, but the fullback was unable to keep his effort down and it flew over the crossbar.

The best chance of the half though arrived in injury time, when a Jake Brimmer set-piece found D’Agostino in the box, but the effort on goal lacked the power to beat goalkeeper Jamie Young.

No way through for Victory, with Western hanging on for a hard-fought 1-0 win.

IMPLICATIONS

The loss is Victory’s fourth of the season, although they remain just a point outside of the top six in what remains a tight race for finals.

RESULT

Isuzu UTE A-League 2022/23 Round 9
Western United 1 (Risdon 45+1′)
Melbourne Victory 0

NEXT UP

Victory have one more game to close out 2022: a New Year’s Eve trip to Industree Group Stadium to take on Central Coast Mariners at 7:00pm AEDT.