Melbourne Victory have made it two from two after a goal from skipper Jake Nakic sealed a 1-0 victory over Brisbane Roar in blustery conditions.
Melbourne Victory have made it two wins from as many matches in the National Youth League after a goal from skipper Jake Nakic sealed a 1-0 victory over Brisbane Roar in blustery conditions at Goodwin Park on Sunday.
In a game of few genuine chances, Nakic’s effort just before the interval was all Victory needed to secure back-to-back wins to start the NYL campaign, following on from last weekend’s 3-0 win over Adelaide United.
The captain put away a cross from lively winger Andrew Nabbout, who made a shock maiden Hyundai A-League appearance against the Roar at Suncorp Stadium two weeks ago.
Gloveman Matthew Acton got a hand on it but it wasn’t enough to stop Nakic’s powerful low shot.
Brisbane and Melbourne both fielded teams with plenty of A-League experience – 10 of the 22 starting players have already made their debuts at senior level.
The cold, gusty conditions played havoc with both sides, and they took time to settle into a contest that saw few attacking opportunities early on.
Brisbane’s Ross Archibald and Rocky Visconte had their attempts deflected just after the quarter-hour mark, while the visitors’ first opportunity was through Isaka Cernak, whose 28th-minute free-kick sailed over the bar from 20 yards out.
One minute later, Victory looked in when Julius Davies played in Nakic close to the byline with a clever look-away pass.
Nakic sent in a dangerous cross which hit Cernak at the far post, but the ball bobbled up and smacked his hand before trickling over the line, and the goal was ruled out.
The hosts then ramped up the pressure, with George Lambadaridis going close with a stinging shot on 30 minutes that looked destined for the net, until it found a ricochet off a Melbourne defender.
Nakic pounced four minutes from the break, which prompted a renewed push from Brisbane for their first goal – but it never came.
After a raft of changes from both sides across the early stretches of the second half, the home side had their best chance at the 67-minute mark.
A header across the box from substitute Kwame Yeboah found Nick Fitzgerald in a good position, but he blazed his shot just over the crossbar from close range.
Seven minutes from time, Lambadaridis tested Melbourne goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas with a free-kick from just outside the box.
It had some wild dip on it, but Thomas held his nerve.
Brisbane Roar 0
Melbourne Victory 1 (Nakic 40)
Brisbane Roar: 2. James Donachie (4. Lachlan Jackson 60), 5. George Lambadaridis, 6. Ross Archibald (c) (10. Kwame Yeboah 45), 7. Donghyun Do, 8. Yuji Takahashi, 9. Anthony Proia (11. Brandon Borrello 45), 13. Kenneth Dougall, 14. Rocky Visconte, 15. Nick Fitzgerald, 16. Luke Brattan, 20. Matthew Acton
Melbourne Victory: 1. Lawrence Thomas, 2. Kwabena Boahene, 3. Nicholas Ansell, 4. Sam Gallagher, 5. Dylan Murnane, 6. Isaka Cernak, 7. Andrew Nabbout (12. Christopher Cristaldo 59), 8. Luc Jeggo (11. John Buceto 70), 9. Jake Nakic (c), 10. Julius Davies (13. Connor Pain 59), 11. John Buceto (14. Luke O’Dea 45)