Victory from jaws of defeat


Melbourne Victory have come from two goals down to defeat Sydney FC 3-2 in the ‘Big Blue’ at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Melbourne Victory have come from two goals down to defeat Sydney FC 3-2 in the ‘Big Blue’ at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Substitute Andrew Nabbout was the hero for Victory, with the 19-year-old bobbing up with two minutes remaining in the match to head home his second goal of the night and the winner for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

Postecoglou must take some credit for the triumph though, with his move to introduce Nabbout into the game with 23 minutes remaining proving to be a masterstroke.

The youngster scored with a superb strike in the 78th minute to make it 2-1, before Archie Thompson levelled proceedings with his eighth goal against Sydney FC by prodding home Mark Milligan’s powerful header.

Then Nabbout was in the right spot at the right time as Victory sealed the three points and moved up to fifth place on the Hyundai A-League table.

Victory fell behind 2-0 early in the second half when Pascal Bosschaart scored his first goal for Sydney FC to add to Yairo Yau’s 14th-minute strike, but Postecoglou’s side were not to be denied.

They dominated possession (60 percent to 40), won the corner count 15-2 and scored the goals when it mattered to prove that the final result was fully deserved.

Victory had the first chance of the night, with Marco Rojas unable to add to his two-goal haul from Monday night against Wellington when he was put in by Guilherme Finkler after 12 minutes.

Sydney broke quickly from that chance and had the first goal of the night through Yau.

The home side strung together a few passes in midfield, before Alessandro Del Piero found Blake Powell with an exquisite ball on the left wing.

The youngster then produced a cross past a ball-watching Victory defence for Yau to poke home.

That sparked Victory into action, with Adama Traore causing Sydney’s defence plenty of problems down the left and Rojas starting to see some ball of his own out wide.

Finkler tried his luck from distance just after the half-hour mark and Victory continued to enjoy plenty of possession in promising positions as the half wore on.

Milligan had his header tipped wide by Ivan Necevski on the stroke of half-time and the break came just at the right time for Sydney given the visitors’ dominance.

But Sydney doubled their advantage moments into the second half and it came through the unlikely source of Bosschaart.

Del Piero whipped in a cross from the left and the big Dutchman volleyed home his first goal for the club after a goal-mouth scramble.

Victory came back yet again, with Finkler going close from straight in front and then Necevski denied Rojas with another fingertip save.

Postecoglou introduced Nabbout with 23 minutes remaining in the clash and the move almost paid off immediately.

The ball fell to the Victory youngster just outside the six-yard box, but veteran midfielder Paul Reid was on hand to block the attempt.

But Nabbout got his goal moments later and it was pure class from the midfielder.

He picked up the ball on the right, moved in on his left inside Reid and curled a shot that went past Necevski and in off the left-hand upright.

Victory continued to press and when Thompson flicked on Milligan’s header with seven minutes remaining it was suddenly tied up at 2-2.

Nabbout then completed his brace moments later and sent the travelling supporters into raptures as Victory picked up their third win of the campaign.

Sydney FC 2 (Yau 14′, Bosschaart 48′)
Melbourne Victory 3 (Nabbout 75′, 88′ Thompson 83′)
Crowd: 21,531 at Allianz Stadium