Only goal differential separates Melbourne Victory and Richmond SC at the top of the PlayStation4 NPL 1 East ladder after a shock 3-2 defeat against Moreland City at Campbell Reserve.
After surrendering a two-goal lead to Moreland City. Melbourne Victory stay on top of the NPL1 East ladder with two games to play.
A short blitz in the second half by Moreland City Football Club saw the home team overcome a two-goal deficit to win in tough conditions.
Victory battled the rain and the treacherous conditions but were unable to overcome their opponents.
Victory started strong with multiple chances within the first ten minutes that were unable to hit the scoreboard early.
Victory’s first real chance came from a Joey Katebian strike right through the middle of the field however it was denied with a save by Moreland City keeper Brandon Galgano.
After this the game became deadlocked in the midfield with both teams continuing to press and attack but unable to convert into shots on target.
At half time both sides were tied at 0-0 even though there were equal chances within the first half for both teams to take the lead.
After the break it was Victory that came out livelier of the two teams, fired up and attacking hard.
Only two minutes into the second half Victory should have taken the lead but instead a shot from George Howard flew wide and hit the post with scores remaining 0-0.
It wasn’t long before Victory made up for the missed chance with a goal by Captain Joey Katebian opening the scoring in the 50th minute and giving Victory a pivitol 1-0 lead over the hosts.
Within another four minutes of play, it was Victory attacking again with a goal by John MacLean extending their lead 2-0 and looking to have the important ascendancy.
In the 63rd minute, Moreland City decided it was time to put their name on the scoreboard with a header by Lisandro Paz bridging the gap between the two teams to a goal.
Moreland City had a chance to level the scores when they were awarded a penalty kick after a yellow card was handed to Victory’s Reece Caldecourt in the 67th minute.
It was Casey Thomas who stepped up to the spot for Moreland City, levelling the scores 2-2 with a strong strike into the left corner of the net.
In the last ten minutes of the game, Victory keeper Lucas Spinella tried his best several times to stop the scoreboard from changing once again but was unsuccessful in the 80th minute when a strike from Moreland City’s Mo Kurucu found the back of the net with the 2-3 score line also representing the final result.
Victory captain Joey Katebian says he is disappointed with the way his team let go of the lead in the second half.
“Collectively we let ourselves down with the set pieces and unfortunately we paid the price today,” Katebian said.
“There were encouraging signs. We played some good football and scored a few goals but unfortunately the game didn’t end up as we planned.”
Victory coach Darren Davies was disappointed with the outcome however is pleased that they hold the top spot on the ladder.
“Looking forward, there’s two games left and we’re still top of the league,” Davies said.
“With two games to go we don’t have to rely on anybody else, we only have to concentrate on what we do which is producing players and continuing to educate them on the right way to play football.”
Victory’s next match is against Murray United Football Club on Saturday September 5th 2015.
Melbourne Victory 2 (Katebian 50’, MacLean 54’)
Moreland City 3 (Paz 63’, Thomas 67’, Kurucu 80’)
Melbourne Victory: 1.Lucas SPINELLA, 18.Christian CAVALLO, 4.Callum GOULDING, 19.Nick GLAVAN, 2.Reece CALDECOURt, 8.Anthony DUZEL (12.Dion PAOLA 78’) 6.Stefan NIGRO, 10.Kieran DOVER, 11.John MACLEAN, 9.Joey KATEBIAN (c), 17.George HOWARD
Unused substitutes: 7. Jesse DALEY, 16. Patrick AVICE, 13. James XYDIAS, 20. Andre JANNESE
Yellow cards: Glavan 44’, Caldecourt 68′
Red cards: Nil
Moreland City: 1.Brandon GALGANO, 18.Orhan KARA (c), 5.Yanni AVRANIDIS, 2.Yeng YANG, 12.Shane CARR, 4.Quinn MCDONALD, 8.Corey THOMAS, 14.Casey THOMAS, 9.Lisandro PAZ, 23.Mo KURUCU, 10.Liam FRANCIS (17.Liam BRIAN 62’)
Unused substitutes: 11. Chris NICHLOS, 7. Alex PETROVSKI, 21. William CURRIE, 16. Nathan GOURZELAS
Yellow cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil