Melbourne Victory made it back-to-back wins in the NPL 3 Victoria, overcoming the Springvale White Eagles 3-1 on Friday night.
A first-half penalty from Binyam Kebede gave Victory a deserved lead at the Serbian Sports Centre.
Nashir Hussainy equalised for the White Eagles shortly after the break, but Ryan Lethlean and Kebede ensured Victory secured a second straight win.
Springvale had an early chance through Alexandar Vranesevic, but Victory goalkeeper Christian Siciliano kicked away the ninth-minute effort.
Victory created an excellent opportunity of its own seven minutes later, James Paneras denied by a fine save by goalkeeper George Tzamouranis.
Springvale captain Andrija Kecojevic put a free-kick off target before the game settled, although Victory continued to look dangerous.
And it was rewarded with a penalty just before half-time as Paneras was brought down in the area.
Luka Prso’s spot-kick was saved by Tzamouranis, but a retake was ordered and Kebede converted to make it 1-0.
Kebede almost doubled the lead just prior to the break, heading a Paneras cross wide.
Springvale drew level immediately after the restart as Hussainy scrambled in an equaliser.
But Victory responded in style, scoring twice in four minutes around the hour-mark.
Lethlean restored Victory’s lead with a clinical low finish from inside the area after a scramble following a corner.
And Kebede made it 3-1 when he completed his brace, rounding Tzamouranis after a pass from Zaydan Bello.
Victory was comfortable in the final half-hour, closing out a second straight win.
Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ post-match thoughts
“I think the boys deserve a lot of credit. I think they’ve continued on from the previous week, where we talked about the effort that they put in without the ball, that helped when we were in possession of the ball. I think that showed up again today. I think the work rate that the boys showed and their desire to really put the opponent under pressure paid a lot of dividends for us and then when we had the ball, I thought we played quite well. There were times when we probably overused the long ball, but when we could, we played through the lines really well and I thought we created quite a few chances and I thought we were the dominant team on the park so it was a well-deserved win and again credit to the boys for putting in such a solid performance both with and without the ball.”
NPL 3 Victoria 2022 Round 4
Springvale White Eagles 1 (Nashir Hussainy 46′)
Melbourne Victory U23s 3 (Binyam Kebede 44′ pen/62′, Ryan Lethlean 59′)
Melbourne Victory U23s: Christian Siciliano (gk); Zaydan Bello (c), Aaron Anderson, Ryan Lethlean, Jackson Lino; Jay Barnett (Anthony Leban), Luka Prso (Alexander Menelaou); Kasper Hallam (Adem Duratovic), Will Wilson (Jake Parish), James Paneras; Binyam Kebede.
Victory made it four from four to begin the Under-21s season, beating Springvale 2-0.