Victory fall in Perth again


Melbourne Victory’s barren run in Western Australia has continued with Perth Glory humbling them 4-1 at nib Stadium.

Melbourne Victory’s barren run in Western Australia has continued with Perth Glory humbling them 4-1 at nib Stadium.

Victory have now lost seven of their past eight league games against Glory in Perth, and could have few complaints about the result having been comprehensibly outplayed by their hosts.

Perth scored three first-half goals, two of them penalties, to put the game to bed, and while Victory got a consolation goal through a penalty from Harry Kewell, they never looked likely to stage a serious comeback, with Perth topping things off with a late goal of their own.

To make matters worse, Danny Allsopp was sent off late in the match and will face at least a one-match ban for his tackle on former Victory defender Steve Pantelidis.

Victory now find themselves four points out of the top six in seventh place and in desperate need of a win when they host Sydney FC on Thursday.

It was evident very early on that Victory were in for a torrid time, with Josh Risdon shooting over before Ante Covic was called onto to deny Mile Sterjovski and the defence denying Shane Smeltz.

It took just 13 minutes for Perth to cut open Victory’s defence with Jacob Burns’ long ball finding Sterjovski on the right and the former Socceroo pin-pointing a cross for Smeltz to convert.

Former Victory defender Evan Berger was causing his fair share of headaches against his former club, looping a dangerous cross, while soon after Adrian Leijer was forced to desperately head away a cross.

However, Leijer went from hero to villain as he won a show of strength with Todd Howarth in the box but only resulted in conceding a penalty. Smeltz stepped up for his second goal inside the first 34 minutes.

Berger’s endeavour saw the pacy defender hit the side netting before creating another penalty on 40 minutes, when he coaxed Matthew Foschini into an ill-advised challenge. This time Sterjovski stepped up to score and Victory coach ‘Jim Magilton immediately substituted Diogo Ferreira with Jean Carlos Solorzano.

Melbourne went to the break without having had a shot on goal and the Glory continued to dominate in the second half with Sterjovski and Bas van den Brink both having chances to extend the lead.

Victory’s goal came seemingly out of nothing, with Solorzano crashing into the box and colliding with Pantelidis, who brought him down, resulting in the third penalty of the match.

Kewell’s 67th minute shot was faultless, and for a brief five-minute period a Victory revival looked a possibility.

But Allsopp’s rush of blood ended all that and late on Perth substitute Andrezinho proved too slick for Victory’s defence to score a fourth.

Perth Glory 4 (Smeltz 13, 34p, Sterjovksi 41p, Andrezinho 88)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Kewell 67)
Crowd: 12,000 at nib Stadium