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Mar 16, 2011   |  1:21AM AET

Tough start for Mehmet

Tough start for Mehmet

Melbourne Victory’s tough start to their AFC Champions League campaign continued on Tuesday, slumping to a 2-1 loss to Korean outfit Jeju United at Docklands.

Melbourne Victory’s tough start to their AFC Champions League campaign continued on Tuesday, slumping to a 2-1 loss to Korean outfit Jeju United at Docklands.

Danny Allsopp opened the scoring for the Victory – who were playing their first game under new coach Mehmet Durakovic – but Jeju equalised through Park Hyun-Beom four minutes before half-time and Lee Hyun-Ho stepped up to score the winner six minutes from the end.

Victory created the first clear chance of the match when Tom Pondeljak picked out Allsopp inside the box and the striker took the ball round Hong Jeong-Ho, prompting goalkeeper Kim Ho-Jun to race off his line to effect the save.

Jeju could have gone ahead after eight minutes when a free kick was whipped in from the right channel and Brazilian winger Santos was unlucky not to get a definitive touch, allowing Michael Petkovic to save comfortably.

Pondeljak found Archie Thompson on the edge of the box soon after but the striker could not make good contact and his shot was mopped up easily by Kim Ho-Jun, while at the other end Marvin Angulo was in the right place at the right time to clear Hong Jeong-Ho’s shot off the line after a corner.

Kevin Muscat’s blushes were spared on 28 minutes when Santos struck his shot wide after collecting a slack pass from the Victory defender, and the hosts got out of jail again when Lee Hyun-Ho’s header flew straight to Petkovic after a great cross from Park.

Allsopp gave Victory the lead against the run of play on the 37-minute mark when Thompson found the striker inside the box and although he looked to have taken one touch too many, his left-foot shot took a deflection off Kang Min-Hyuk and into the corner.

Jeju hit back immediately when a corner broke kindly for Park off the head of Isaka Cernak and the midfielder lashed a left foot shot past a host of defenders and Petkovic to level the scores.

The Koreans could have taken the lead moments later with the best move of the game when Lee broke quickly down the left and picked out his skipper Kim Eun-Jung with a wonderful ball, but the striker’s left foot volley was brilliantly saved by Petkovic.

Pondeljak went close with a fantastic long-range effort just before half-time to force a brilliant save from Kim Ho-Jun meaning scores stayed 1-1 at the interval.

Victory emerged from the break with renewed vigour, and Angulo went close with a rasping drive six minutes after the restart that soared just over the bar.

Durakovic replaced Angulo with Carlos Hernandez just before the hour mark and the Costa Rican had an immediate impact, teeing up Thompson with a nice ball forcing the Jeju defence to act quickly to avert the danger.

Thompson spurned a glorious chance to give Victory the lead moments later when he was played in beautifully by Hernandez but the veteran’s careful shot rolled just inches wide.

Jeju hit back at the other end and Ma Chul-Jun took the ball past Muscat but his left-foot shot was well saved by Petkovic.

Victory again went close after a delightful move when Hernandez picked out Allsopp and the striker played a delightful back heel into the path of Thompson who crashed his shot over the bar.

But the match turned after 84 minutes when substitute Kang Soo-Il played a great ball to Lee, who took a great first touch before guiding the ball past Petkovic to secure all three points for the K-League runners-up.