Victory see off Sydney FC in pre-season friendly


Marco Rojas scored in his first game back for Melbourne Victory in the club’s 3-1 pre-season friendly win over Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old looked sharp in his first appearance for Victory since 2013, combining particularly well with another of the club’s returning stars, James Troisi.

Besart Berisha and Mitch Austin also found the scoresheet to continue Victory’s unbeaten pre-season campaign.

Victory fielded a strong starting 11, which included the midfield combination of Troisi, Carl Valeri and Oliver Bozanic.

Austin joined Berisha and Rojas up front, while James Donachie partnered Alan Baro in the centre of defence.

Fifteen minutes into the game, Rojas provided a pinpoint pass that released Austin, who was felled in the penalty area by Rhyan Grant.

Berisha stepped up and converted from the spot to give the hosts the early advantage.

Just four minutes later, Sydney FC had an equaliser when Brandon O’Neill’s powerful left-foot strike beat Lawrence Thomas.

Victory’s lead was restored on 36 minutes, with Troisi’s through ball sending Rojas toward goal. He steadied and finished expertly with a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

George Howard replaced Berisha after 66 minutes, and within three minutes he provided the assist for Austin’s goal.

Victory’s pre-season continues with another behind-closed-doors friendly against Adelaide United on Wednesday, September 14 at Coopers Stadium.

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Melbourne Victory 3 (Besart Berisha 16′ pen, Marco Rojas 36′, Mitch Austin 69′)
Sydney FC 1 (Brandon O’Neill 19′)