Victory beat Adelaide United 2-1


Melbourne Victory claimed their first win under new coach Ange Postecoglou with a 2-1 defeat of fierce rivals Adelaide United on Friday night.

Melbourne Victory claimed their first win under new coach Ange Postecoglou with a 2-1 defeat of fierce rivals Adelaide United on Friday night.

Dario Vidosic put Adelaide in front with a penalty in the 50th minute, but the advantage lasted less than two minutes as Mark Milligan levelled proceedings with a powerful header.

Victory took the lead through Marco Rojas on 67 minutes, holding on for their first points of the season in front of 19,174 fans at Etihad Stadium.

The home side dominated possession and controlled the tempo throughout the contest, with the returning international trio of Milligan, Rojas and Archie Thompson proving welcomed additions.

Adelaide, who last won at Etihad Stadium in 2006, struggled to generate chances in front of goal and were unable to replicate the form that earned them two wins from their opening two games.

Postecoglou made wholesale changes to the side that were stunned by Brisbane Roar last week, with Thompson, fresh from his match-winning performance for Australia over Iraq midweek, Milligan and Rojas among those returning to the fold.

Thompson replaced the retired Danny Allsopp up front, while Milligan, an unused substitute for the Socceroos, entered the midfield for Jonathan Bru and young winger Andrew Nabbout (groin) made way for Rojas who played 69 minutes in New Zealand’s 3-0 win over Tahiti on Tuesday.

Billy Celeski was favoured over Jimmy Jeggo in midfield, with defender Petar Franjic in for Spase Dilevski (calf) and Tando Velaphi taking the place of the inexperienced Lawrence Thomas in goal.

Adelaide forwards Bruce Djite and Sergio van Dijk failed to travel to Melbourne, with coach John Kosmina opting for a partnership of Argentinean Jeronimo Neumann and Dario Vidosic in his return from a hamstring complaint.

Milligan had the first chance of the match in a goalmouth scramble when he sent an audacious overhead kick over the bar before Adrian Leijer followed with a header that Eugene Galekovic had little difficulty stopping.

Marco Flores, in his first Hyundai A-League appearance against his former side, thought he earned a penalty in the eighth minute on the back of a Daniel Bowles challenge, but the Argentinean was instead cautioned for simulation by referee Peter Green to the dismay of the Victory faithful.

The effect of Thompson, making his record 140th appearance for the club, and Rojas was almost immediate as the pair created several chances that showed a clear intent to attack and kept the Adelaide defence on their toes.

Victory had a golden opportunity to opening the scoring on 20 minutes when Flores and Rojas combined for a cross that narrowly missed the outstretched boot of Thompson just metres from the goal.

United almost grabbed an unlikely lead when Iain Ramsey played Jeronimo through in the 43rd minute, but the striker was unable to find the target with only Velaphi to beat and sent his effort wide.

Adelaide attacked immediately following the break and were rewarded just five minutes in when Celeski threw his arm at the ball inside the area and referee Green pointed to the spot without hesitation.

Vidosic calmly slotted the penalty kick with a low shot to his left, beating Velaphi, who dove in the opposite direction.

Victory remained undeterred and were on level terms when Milligan met a Guilherme Finkler free kick with a clean header that flew past former Victory custodian Galekovic.

Thompson should have put Victory in front when Flores played him through in the 64th minute, but he agonisingly misplaced his shot with only Galekovic in his path.

But the Qantas Socceroo made amends soon after with a cross that ricocheted off Boogaard and into the crossbar. The ball fell to Rojas, who rattled the woodwork again with a header before finding the back of the net on his second attempt.

Matthew Foschini almost doubled the advantage with a tricky shot from the edge of the area that forced a diving save, while Adelaide were unable to find a way past Velaphi and left Melbourne without a point.

Victory travel next week to take on the Newcastle Jets, while Adelaide play host to Wellington Phoenix.