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Jan 04, 2009   |  1:34AM AET

Victory Youth upset Roar

Victory Youth upset Roar

The sixth-placed Melbourne Victory have claimed their second top-two scalp in as many weeks in the National Youth League with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over second-placed Queensland Roar at Epping Soccer Stadium on Saturday evening.

The sixth-placed Melbourne Victory have claimed their second top-two scalp in as many weeks in the National Youth League with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over second-placed Queensland Roar at Epping Soccer Stadium on Saturday evening.

The result puts scrutiny on Queensland’s ability to hold on to a Grand Final berth with Adelaide United and Perth Glory now just three and four points adrift of the Roar respectively.

A brace from Nathan Elasi and an exceptional performance by Aziz Behich, who scored the other goal, down the left side of the ground ensured the upset win for the hosts.

Elasi’s first goal was a cracker from beyond the area in the 25th minute which went into the top left-hand corner of the net, giving diving Roar goalkeeper Griffin McMaster little chance of saving.

Behich doubled Melbourne’s lead in the 59th minute after he received a delicate pass from Elasi inside the 18-yard box allowing the former to jet towards the goal and drill it past McMaster.

Six minutes later Elasi completed the Victory’s emphatic performance when he beat an offside trap before calmly lobbing the ball past advancing substitute keeper Matthew Acton and into the back of the net.

For the Roar, captain Adam Sarota in midfield and McMaster were the only ones who stood out.

Melbourne coach Mehmed Durakovic was rapt with his team’s ability to knock off the two league-leaders in the space of two rounds.

“It’s starting to come good now. All year we’ve been saying we’re a good team, just that individual mistakes are costing us games, and all of a sudden we’re starting to click,” he said.

Meanwhile Queensland coach Rado Vidosic was disappointed with his players’ efforts against the second-last Victory.

“We expected at least that we were going to put a good effort in and perform a little bit better but unfortunately we just didn’t perform at all,” he said.

Right from the first whistle it looked anything but a battle between two sides who reside at opposing ends of the table as the Victory dominated proceedings for majority of the period.

Melbourne had a plethora of chances and conceivably should have enjoyed a much healthier advantage at half-time than its 1-0 lead suggested.

Behich and Dimitri Hatzimouratis were causing havoc for Queensland’s defence, despite their inability to capitalise on their scoring chances, while one got the sense that a goal was around the corner every time Elasi or Leigh Broxham got near the ball.

However early in the half Victory wasted a lot of chances from outside the area and between the 20th and 23rd minutes especially, Melbourne would have cursed its inability to find the back of the net with three great chances.

In the first instance, Behich ran along the left side and crossed it dangerously into the six-yard box but Hatzimouratis wasn’t able to connect.

A minute later, Behich was at it again and had a golden opportunity to score when from 10 yards out he had a shot on goal with only McMaster in front of him but his effort went wide of the left post.

And in the 23rd minute Behich accepted a free kick, placed it menacingly into the area and found Steven Pace’s head but the attempt on goal had little potency.

Melbourne’s domination was finally rewarded in the 25th minute when Elasi fired his pearler.

For all the good work that the Victory were doing in attack, Grant Brebner, Pace and Robert Wynne were holding their own in defence as well.

Queensland was being shut down in attack and was forced to take numerous shots on goal from beyond the area in the first 45 minutes, none of which looked all that threatening to Victory custodian Mitch Langerak.

But the Roar could have amazingly leveled things up just before the break against the run of play with the easiest chance of the match after Robbie Kruse forced Langerak into an athletic save which saw the ball spill into the path of Timothy Smits.

However with an unguarded goal at his mercy, Smits inexplicably hit the left post from point blank range and the ball rebounded straight to Langerak.

McMaster started the second half in stunning fashion and kept his side in the contest by spectacularly denying Behich and Elasi from close range four times in the space of six minutes.

But McMaster’s resistence was broken again in the 59th minute when Behich opened up his account from just outside the six-yard box.

The keeper was subbed off for Acton four minutes later and the youngster was almost immediately breached by Elasi who scored his second of the contest and rounded out the huge win.

The Roar’s forgettable day was complete 10 minutes from time when David Dodd was red-carded for pushing Behich in the face right in front of referee Lucien Lavedure.

Melbourne next face Perth Glory at BGC Stadium on Saturday while on the same day Queensland takes on Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium.

Match Details

Melbourne Victory 3 (Elasi 25′, 65′, Behich 59′)
Queensland Roar 0

Saturday 3 January 2009
Epping Soccer Stadium
Local kick off 5pm AEDT

Referee: Lucien Lavedure
Assistant Referees: Brenton Hayward, James Nicolopoulos
Fourth Official: Alex Azcurra

Melbourne Victory line-up: 1. Mitchell Langerak (gk), 2. Robert Wynne, 3. Steven Pace, 4. Matthew Foschini, 5. Fabio Di Lizia, 7. Aziz Behich, 9. Mathew Theodore (c) (6. Craig Sweeney 64′), 10. Nathan Elasi, 11. Dimitri Hatzimouratis (12. Tedros Yabio, 56′), 13. Leigh Broxham, 14. Grant Brebner (8. Stephen Hatzikostas 45′).

Substitues not used: Sebastien Mattei (gk).

Yellow cards: Broxham 70′
Red Cards:

Queensland Roar line-up: 1. Griffin McMaster (gk) (20. Matthew Acton (gk) 63′), 2. Michael Ryan, 3. Daniel Bowles, 4. Mitchell Bevan, 5. Robbie Kruse (10. Bradley McDonald 63′), 7. Adam Sarota (c), 9. Tyler Thurtell (8. Michael Angus 56′), 12. David Dodd, 13. Chris Grossman, 15. Hyuk-Su Seo, 18. Timothy Smits

Substitues not used: 6. Matthew Mundy

Yellow cards: Hyuk-Su Seo 88′
Red Cards: Dodd 80′