A brace from Ola Toivonen helped Melbourne Victory overcome the Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday.
Toivonen scored once in each half – set up by James Troisi both times – at ANZ Stadium to continue his good form.
His second was the match-winner after a penalty from Alexander Baumjohann brought the Wanderers level, with Victory extending its unbeaten run to nine matches.
The Wanderers made the better start and almost struck in the second minute, but Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas made a good low save to deny Bruce Kamau.
Victory struggled to settle, and Thomas was needed again to push away a header from Patrick Ziegler in the 12th minute.
Just two minutes later and Victory went close, Josh Hope heading a cross from Kosta Barbarouses wide.
The rest of the half turned into a battle in wet conditions, but Victory opened the scoring just before the break.
Toivonen scored for the fifth consecutive game, finishing clinically after being put in by Troisi.
The start of the second half continued to be a tussle before Barbarouses fired wide from inside the area after he was teed up by Storm Roux.
Western Sydney equalised in the 74th minute, Baumjohann converting a penalty after being brought down by Roux in the area.
Before Toivonen’s second, Leigh Broxham produced a huge goal-line clearance to deny Nick Fitzgerald in the 78th minute.
That proved a massive moment as Victory found a winner, Troisi picking out Toivonen from the right to tap in and make it 2-1.
But Thomas was needed once more before the three points were secured, the shot-stopper tipping a Fitzgerald effort onto his near post.
Player in focus
What they said – Broxham
on the win…
“It was a bit scrappy at times. We had to earn everything. There were things we worked on but all in all, in the circumstances, we’ll take a 2-1 win for sure.”
on conceding the equaliser…
“We were a bit disappointed. We probably could’ve stopped the scenario that led to the penalty, but we’ve got good belief in the team and we know whatever scenario is put to us, we want to push to win every game that we play in, so there was no panic and kept doing what we needed to do and we did it.”
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 11
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Alexander Baumjohann 74′ pen)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Ola Toivonen 45’/86′)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Janjetovic (gk); Russell, Ziegler, Hamill (c), Elrich; O’Doherty (Majok 71′), Baccus; Kamau (Fitzgerald 71′), Baumjohann, Bonevacia; Riera.
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk); Roux (Niedermeier 89′), Deng, Broxham, Brown; Valeri (c); Antonis (Baena 82′), Troisi, Hope (Akbari 60′); Barbarouses, Toivonen.
Yellow cards: Roux 48′, Valeri 63′, Riera 77′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Victory has a short turnaround before Round 12, making the trip to Adelaide United on Wednesday, January 9.