Melbourne Victory recorded its sixth straight win by beating Brisbane Roar 4-2 in an entertaining Hyundai A-League clash on Friday.
There were six goals scored in a thrilling first half at Suncorp Stadium, where Kosta Barbarouses netted a brace to go with an Ola Toivonen strike and Keisuke Honda penalty.
Adam Taggart’s spot-kick and Toivonen’s own goal gave Brisbane, reduced to 10 men after Eric Bautheac’s red card, some hope, but Victory saw out its win to go top of the table.
Brisbane put Victory under early pressure and an incredible goal-line clearance from Toivonen denied Stefan Mauk an opener.
Instead, Victory opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Barbarouses, who netted for the third straight game and moved into outright fifth for most Hyundai A-League strikes for the club.
Honda won possession high up the pitch and James Troisi played in a beautiful pass for Barbarouses to volley past Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young.
Roar were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half, Bautheac lunging in dangerously on Corey Brown before quickly picking up a second yellow card in the aftermath.
Taggart brought the host level in the 27th minute, the forward converting from the penalty spot after it was ruled he was fouled by Honda.
But Victory quickly restored its lead through Toivonen, who struck his third goal of the season.
Terry Antonis’ superb back flick released Brown down the left and the full-back picked out Toivonen, the Swede producing a fine finish to make it 2-1.
Storm Roux fired wide from an Antonis pass moments later before Victory was awarded a penalty, the star midfielder’s shot hitting the arm of Daniel Bowles.
Honda stepped up and calmly placed his spot-kick into the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the campaign.
But Brisbane pulled a goal back before half-time, Toivonen unfortunately turning an Alex Lopez free-kick past goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas.
The remarkable first half continued as Victory struck again in additional time with a well-worked corner.
Honda’s corner was played to the near post to Troisi, who flicked a pass to Barbarouses to put away and make it 4-2.
Victory controlled proceedings in rainy conditions to begin the second half, with Troisi blazing over the crossbar from 20 yards in the 56th minute.
The visitor was dominant throughout the second 45, and it almost sealed its win late on when Nick Ansell headed a Honda cross over the bar and Antonis also missed the target.
Player in focus
What they said – Troisi
on the game…
“It’s fantastic. We’ve got a very dangerous front three, four, Keisuke and Terry in behind me and the boys are doing well at the back. To be honest, we’re a little bit disappointed with the goals we conceded, whether they were free-kicks or penalties, either way we’ve got to defend them better and not make excuses. Away from home, we keep the ball rolling, we’re consistent this season and that’s the most important thing.”
on the second half…
“The game got out of hand a little bit which is disappointing to see. But that’s what we said at half-time, stay focused, keep doing what we’re doing and it was less erratic, more structured, we created a couple of chances and four goals away from home, we can’t complain too much.”
on the winning run…
“We’re staying focused, we’re not getting carried away. We’ll be disappointed with tonight and we’re winning 4-2 away from home so that’s the mentality we’ve got to have, never be satisfied and that’ll leave us in good stead.”
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 8
Brisbane Roar 2 (Adam Taggart 27′ pen, Ola Toivonen 42′ og)
Melbourne Victory 4 (Kosta Barbarouses 13’/45+2′, Ola Toivonen 32′, Keisuke Honda 40′ pen)
Brisbane Roar: Young (gk); Ingham, Papadopoulos, Bowles, O’Toole; Lopez (Henrique 62′), McKay (c); Kristensen, Mauk (D’Agostino 62′), Bautheac; Taggart (Wenzel-Halls 87′).
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk); Roux, Deng (Ansell 77′), Broxham, Brown; Valeri (c) (Akbari 88′); Honda, Troisi (Hope 80′), Antonis; Barbarouses, Toivonen.
Yellow cards: Bautheac 19’/21′, Broxham 24′, Bowles 31′, Taggart 41′, McKay 70′
Red cards: Bautheac 21′
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Victory looks to continue its run in a Derby clash against City at AAMI Park on Saturday, December 22.