VPL Report: Superb Adams strike secures point for Victory

A brilliant goal from Eli Adams was enough for Melbourne Victory to take a point from their meeting with Bentleigh Greens on Monday night, continuing their unbeaten start to the season.

Team News

Head Coach Joe Palatsides made two changes to the XI which defeated Preston Lions 2-0 last Friday night, bringing Eli Adams into the team alongside goalkeeper Christian Siciliano.


The game was Victory’s second at John Cain Memorial Park of the season, having opened their campaign at the venue with an impressive 3-1 win over Northcote City.

Palatsides’ team did not take long to settle into their environment, making a positive start to the contest.

Eli Adams was making his first appearance for the academy team of the season and immediately looked a threat down the right wing.

Adams was involved regularly in the first 15 minutes, creating chances for Luka Kolić and Adem Duratović.

The winger himself had the best chance of the early exchanges, latching onto a superb long ball in behind the Bentleigh defence after 20 minutes, but was unable to beat the goalkeeper.

Jesse Hoey got involved in the action after 25 minutes, going on a superb run before sliding through Kolić, but the angle was too tight for the finish.

Despite Victory’s series of promising chances, they were unable to break the deadlock before the half-time whistle arrived.

The second half looked set to be a tighter affair, with chances proving harder to come by after the re-start.

Bentleigh created the best chance early in the second half after winning the ball back in a dangerous position, but they were unable to finish off the chance.

The visitors though were soon rewarded for their improved second half showing, opening the scoring soon after the hour mark following a scramble in the box.

Goalkeeper Christian Siciliano was called into action again a few minutes later, making a vital save to keep Victory within touching distance.

Victory were in need of a big response.

Having put together an impressive performance already, it was Adams who would provide it.

A set-piece routine from just outside the box teed-up the winger, who thundered his strike into the top corner in the 71st minute.

A special strike at a key moment in the match, with the game suddenly hanging in the balance once more.

Palatsides turned to his bench in the aftermath of the goal, bringing Marc Petheriotis, Linus Bourke and Nikolas Cevizović into the action for the final 20 minutes.

Petheriotis made an instant impact, delivering a superb cross for Jesse Hoey whose shot on goal was tipped over the crossbar.

Siciliano made another big save a few minutes later, as both teams pushed for the goal that would surely win the match.

Ultimately, however, the points were shared.

A point for Victory which takes their tally to seven from three games, placing them equal top on points on the VPL1 ladder.

Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ post-match thoughts

On the performance:

“I thought we started really well.”

“I thought we controlled the game in the first half. We created four or five really clear-cut chances to score.”

“We should’ve really put the game away in the first half.”

“To Bentleigh’s credit, they fought back and made it tough for us in the second half.”

“Then we had to show a bit of character.”

“The boys showed great character to come back from a goal down and to not stop playing good football.”

“We didn’t get the win, but I think we progressed again today.”

On taking opportunities in front of goal:

“I think they know the importance of it.”

“We had some experienced players who missed some good chances as well.”

“We all know that if you give a team that you’re controlling a sniff that they can get something out of the game, then it’s our own fault if we don’t get the win that we deserved.”

“But all in all, the intensity and work ethic that the players have displayed, I know better things are going to come.”

On Eli Adams:

“He set the tone early on. He was really causing problems for Bentleigh on his side.”

“Then that strike…he can make those special moments count.”

“He did it again today and put us back in the game.”

Next Up

Monday night football continues for Victory next time out, as they head to JL Murphy Reserve to take on Eastern Lions on Monday 4th March, kicking off at 8:30pm AEDT.

VPL1 2024 Round 3

Melbourne Victory 1 (Adams 71′)

Bentleigh Greens 1

Melbourne Victory U23s starting XI: Christian Siciliano (GK), Josh Inserra, Kayne Razmovski, Kasey Bos, Alex Menelaou (c), Adem Duratovic, Matt Bozinovski, Luka Kolić, Dimitri Palatsides, Jesse Hoey, Eli Adams