Victory produces stunning comeback in Wellington


Melbourne Victory produced a fine comeback to claim a thrilling 3-2 win over the Wellington Phoenix in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday.


A pair of headers from Andrija Kaluderovic had the hosts ahead at Westpac Stadium after Victory looked the more likely in the first half.

But Victory responded after the break, a Besart Berisha strike and Goran Paracki own goal drawing the visitors level.

And Victory deservedly found a winner as James Troisi struck in the 86th minute.

Victory made two changes to the starting XI beaten in Newcastle, Stefan Nigro replacing Leigh Broxham at left-back and Matias Sanchez taking the suspended Mark Milligan’s spot in midfield.

The visitors created two glorious chances in the opening eight minutes.

A Kosta Barbarouses header opened up the first opportunity for Troisi, who beat Lewis Italiano but saw his strike hit the post from an angle.

The next chance fell to Berisha, who fired wide in a one-on-one with Italiano after being played through by Leroy George.

It was an end-to-end start to the clash, with Thomas Deng’s header denying a goal-bound Michael McGlinchey strike.

Victory thought it had a deserved opening goal approaching the 20-minute mark.

Berisha wonderfully picked out the top corner after a Barbarouses pass and, while the goal was initially awarded, the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled the star forward was offside.

Instead, it was Wellington who took the lead just prior to the half-hour mark, Kaluderovic producing a fine header from a Scott Galloway cross.

Kaluderovic struck again just moments later, looping a header over Lawrence Thomas from 18 yards after a Tom Doyle ball.

Italiano denied George with a save prior to half-time, while the attacker also saw two free-kicks hit the wall.

Victory almost pulled a goal back early in the second half, but George dragged a shot wide from an angle after a Troisi pass over the top.

The visitors finally struck in the 54th minute as Berisha put away a rebound after Barbarouses drew a save from Italiano.

Victory was level just three minutes later as a George corner hit Paracki and found the back of the net.

The visitors continued to push and had a great opportunity to win it in the 80th minute, Berisha shooting wide from inside the area after a Troisi pass.

But that duo would combine for the winner as Berisha played in Troisi, who tucked a calm finish beyond Italiano.


Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Round 9
Wellington Phoenix 2
(Andrija Kaluderovic 29’/31′)
Melbourne Victory 3 (Besart Berisha 54′, Goran Paracki 57′ og, James Troisi 86′)

Wellington Phoenix: Italiano (gk), Galloway (Mullen 79′), Durante (c) (Watson 88′), Rossi, Doyle, Ridenton, Paracki, McGlinchey (Parkhouse 45′), Krishna, Kaluderovic, Vidosic
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk), Geria, Deng, Williams, Nigro, Sanchez (Broxham 67′), Valeri (c), Troisi, Barbarouses (Theoharous 84′), Berisha, George (Ingham 90+1′)

Yellow cards: McGlinchey 40′, Ridenton 59′, Paracki 68′, Nigro 77′, Krishna 88′
Red cards: Nil
Attendance: TBC
Venue: Westpac Stadium