NPL Report: Victory goes down to North Sunshine

Melbourne Victory suffered their second consecutive defeat in the NPL3 competition, losing 1-0 against the North Sunshine Eagles in a fiery contest.

Team News

Head coach Joe Palatsides made five changes to his side from last week’s defeat, bringing Nathan Stamelos, Tommaso Minutoli, Alexander Gust, Joshua Franco and Linus Bourke into the starting XI.

Alex Menelaou, Ryan Lethlean, Kasey Bos, Adem Duratovic and Austin Ganino all left the squad entirely for the match, with Ganino suffering an injury late in last week’s encounter.


Victory came into Friday night’s contest looking to maintain a gap on top of the NPL3 table, after falling to second placed Caroline Springs George Cross in their last match.

With their last contest a fiery encounter at Epping Stadium that ended 3-2 to Victory, the match was set to bring similar fireworks away from home for the ladder leaders.

The opening 15 minutes saw Victory attempt to maintain control of the match, wrestling for possession in the middle of the park with the Eagles.

Limited chances for both sides came with this battle, living up to the billing of their last contest.

The first clear cut chance of the game for both sides came for North Sunshine, who found themselves with room inside the box.

Starting goalkeeper and captain Christian Siciliano produced a fantastic save at the near post to deny the chance.

At the 32nd minute mark, the Eagles found themselves through on goal again, with Siciliano producing another fantastic save while rushing at the attacker to keep the scores level.

Just four minutes later, a storming run down the right wing saw Alexander Gust get on the end of a cross, but was unable to keep the ball under the bar from his volley attempt and trouble the keeper.

After significant back-and-forth towards the end of the half, it would eventually be the Eagles who would strike with the first and only goal of the match.

Finding space on the left side of the box, the Eagles attack was able to push through the defence and strike past a lunging Siciliano in the bottom corner, giving them the advantage.

Just before half-time, Gust started and finished an attack towards the North Sunshine goal, smashing a shot towards the left post.

The Eagles keeper was able to make a save on the first shot on target for Victory, as the referee blew for half-time.

12 minutes after the break, Victory was able to conjure their best chance of the match.

Tommaso Minutoli was able to sneak up behind the North Sunshine defence, stealing the ball away and charging in towards goal.

The Eagles keeper again deflected the ball away at the last second and saw Victory unable to equalise.

Minutoli was the first to be substituted for Victory in an attempt to put fresh legs into attack, with Tim Atherinos entering the game in the 67th minute.

Just after the substitution, the Eagles created three shots on target in rapid succession, all of which were either saved by the keeper or blocked away by the Victory defence.

The last 10 minutes saw fiery clashes that threatened to boil over between the two sides, as Victory pushed hard for an equaliser in the dying stages.

It unfortunately wasn’t to be, with the full-time whistle blowing after four minutes of added time and the Eagles 1-0 up.

The loss is the second in a row for Victory, who now need to respond against Nunawading City at home, who also sit in the top four of the NPL3 competition.

Next Up

Victory return home to Epping Stadium on Sunday the 23rd of July, taking on Nunawading City at 3:00pm AEST.

NPL3 Victoria 2023 Round 17

Melbourne Victory 0

North Sunshine Eagles 1

Melbourne Victory U23s starting XI: Christian Siciliano (GK) (c), Kayne Razmovski, Nathan Stamelos, Tommaso Minutoli, Noah Spaseski, Marc Latsis, George Karvounis, Alexander Gust, Damien Bozinovski, Joshua Francou, Linus Bourke