Victory takes Derby spoils in NYL thriller


A brace each from Connor Pain and Joey Katebian were instrumental in Melbourne Victory’s 5-4 conquest of Melbourne City in the Foxtel National Youth League at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday.

Lawrence Thomas retained his place in goal for the hosts, while Giancarlo Gallifuoco joined fellow senior contracted players Scott Galloway, Thomas Deng and Connor Pain in the starting XI.

Both sets of fans were treated to an entertaining match as a high tempo was set from the outset.

Katebian looked as if he would break the game open 20 minutes in when he found himself with no one but Melbourne City goalkeeper Anthony Casset to beat. But the Victory skipper was cynically halted, earning Casset a yellow card.

Victory eventually found its goal and it was Connor Pain who was the ultimate beneficiary of a Galloway ball from the right flank. Casset’s inability to clear the danger paved the way for Pain to tap in at the back post.

Barely 90 seconds more had passed when Katebian doubled his side’s advantage. A deft touch allowed him to trap the ball and squeeze it into the net with the outside of his right boot. 

Two became three in first-half injury time thanks to Kieran Dover, who was astute enough to side-foot Christian Cavallo’s cut back and leave the home fans in raptures.

Things went from good to great almost immediately after the break. Deng’s cultured pass split the City defence wide open, permitting Pain to pounce and rifle the ball into the top corner.

City then embarked on a comeback mission, scoring its first goal eight minutes into the half. Ben Garuccio was the scorer, sending a free-kick into the top corner from 30 yards.

Victory had its chances to put the result beyond doubt, but it was City who continued to wrestle its way back into the match.

Wade Dekker’s chip over Thomas helped reduce the deficit, before Galloway was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card and then Dover was adjudged to handled the ball in the area. Christopher Cristaldo converted from the spot, setting up a grandstand finish. 

The action failed to cease as Katebian added a fifth for Victory after capitalising on a misplaced header by the City goalkeeper. 

Cristaldo added a second penalty in the dying seconds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Victory tasting Derby success.

Victory has a bye next week before facing Perth Glory in the west in a fortnight’s time.

Melbourne Victory 5 (Pain 36’/46′, Katebian 38’/90+1′, Dover 45+2′)
Melbourne City 4 (Garuccio 53′, Dekker 72′, Cristaldo 82′ pen/90+3′ pen)