Victory too strong for Glory


Melbourne Victory have seen off a determined Perth Glory outfit, running away with a 3-0 win, and keeping Victory’s pre-season undefeated streak alive in the process.

It was Victory’s first match against A-League opposition and they started the brighter of the two sides creating a host of early chances.

Archie Thompson had the best of them, beating the offside trap and hitting the crossbar from his one-on-one chance in the 2nd minute.

AUDIO: Press play to listen to Kevin Muscat’s thoughts about the match in the audio below.

Victory’s high press had clearly caught out Perth in the early stages and it led to the second chance in the 3rd minute when a free kick on the edge of the box was sent straight into the wall by playmaker Gui Finkler.

After the early action, the match descended into a midfield scrap as both sides were failing to breakdown the oppositions defence.

This saw Victory’s first yellow card come out, as Leigh Broxham was booked for a tackle on Youssef Hersi in the 18th minute.

By the 23rd minute Victory Coach Kevin Muscat voiced his disapproval with Victory’s play and it yielded immediate results. Connor Pain flew down the left wing, beating Joshua Risdon and crossed low to Thompson, who shot straight at Daniel Vukovic for a good save.

It wasn’t until the 29th minute that Perth created their first good chance of the match. After Hersi crossed into the box the clearing header fell to former Victory player, Mitch Nichols, whose shot was blocked by a desperate Broxham.

Victory finally broke the deadlock in the 35th minute after some good link up play between Finkler and Berisha lead to a foul on the edge of the box. Finkler stepped up to take the free kick and scored, the ball taking a deflection off the wall leaving Vukovic stranded.

Just one change was made at half time as Perth brought on midfielder Cameron Edwards for Jack Clisby, who was suffering from an illness. Brandon O’Niell dropped to defence.

The second half began in similar fashion to the first, as both sides couldn’t create any clear-cut chances in the early stages.

This continued for the following 15 minutes as both Muscat and Perth coach Kenny Lowe made a host of changes.

Victory brought on youngsters Andrew Nabbout and Jesse Makarounas. While Jamie Maclaren, Riley Woodcok and former Victory player Diogo Ferreira came on for Perth.

The next clear chance of the match came for Perth in the 67th minute when new signing Andy Keogh picked up the ball in the box but the Republic of Ireland international could only shoot straight at Nathan Coe.

This only spurred Victory back into action and they added their second in the 69th minute as Thompson played in Berisha, whose first touch left Dino Djulbic on the floor, he then fired with his left and hit the back of the net with an unstoppable drive.

By this point Victory were controlling the match and they got their third in the 75th minute.

Thompson beat the offside trap and was brought down by Vukovic in the penalty area. Berisha then stepped up to take the penalty and fired it emphatically into the top left corner.

Perth went down to 10 men, but not through a red card, instead their defender Joshua Risdon went down with an injury and couldn’t continue.

In the final stages of the match Victory youngsters Nabbout and Makarounas both forced good saves from Vukovic with long-range shots, however no further goals were added as Victory ran out 3-0 winners.

Melbourne Victory 3  (Finkler 35′, Berisha 69′, 75′)

Perth Glory 0