VPL Report: Tarneit goal-fest ends in draw

Melbourne Victory played out an extraordinary 4-4 draw with Western United on Sunday morning, with a late Eli Adams free-kick preserving their unbeaten record this season.

Team News

Head Coach Joe Palatsides made two changes to the team that defeated Kingston City 2-1, as Dimi Palatsides returned to the XI, whilst in goal Yona Sultan made his senior team debut.


A huge game for the two academy teams was set for Sunday morning, with both coming into the contest in red-hot form.

The unusual kick-off time of 10am raised plenty of questions as to how it would affect both teams’ performances.

Western United appeared to have made the better early adjustments.

A goal in just the second minute of play put the hosts in front and made what was already a significant challenge for Victory even greater.

However, Joe Palatsides’ team were quick to respond.

Some excellent build-up play from Eli Adams created the chance, teeing-up Fabian Monge who executed a straightforward finish from the centre of the box.

Victory would soon complete a full turnaround from the early goal, as minutes later Luka Kolić added his name to the scoresheet to put the visitors in front.

However, Victory’s lead was also short-lived, with Western finding an equaliser of their own effectively straight away, levelling the scores at 2-2 before 25 minutes had been played.

The twists would keep coming in the first half, as just after the half-hour mark, a penalty was awarded and duly converted by Western to reclaim the lead.

However, before the half was done, Victory would have yet another equaliser, this time scored by Adem Duratović with a clever finish, lifting the ball over the on-rushing goalkeeper having been played in-behind the Western defence.

A scarcely believable first half, with both teams spending time in the lead, but 3-3 was the score at the break.

The scoring did not stop after the break, as Western once again found a go-ahead goal just a few minutes after the re-start.

Adams came desperately close to a goal of his own a few minutes later when he won the ball back high up the pitch, but the tight angle from which he had to shoot meant beating the goalkeeper was always going to be a tall order.

Senior team debutant goalkeeper Yona Sultan made several key interventions throughout the second half, keeping his team within touching distance.

Joe Palatsides looked to his bench as the search for another equaliser intensified, bringing Kayne Razmovski, Marc Petheriotis, Tommaso Minutoli and Damien Bozinovski into the game.

Alex Menelaou continued to look lively, driving forward from midfield with regularity, but the Western defence was holding firm.

As the game entered its final 10 minutes, hopes of another Victory equaliser began to fade.

Up stepped Adams, who took his chance from a free-kick, driving the ball low and hard past the wall and into the far corner.

Jack Mihailidis was introduced as the final substitution, with the game finely poised as it headed into second half stoppage time.

Minutoli very nearly won the game in the final minute, following some brilliant build-up play from Adams, but the strike was narrowly kept out.

In the end the points were shared, 4-4 the final score.

A memorable contest, which sees Victory’s unbeaten season extend for another week and into the second half of the campaign.

Next Up

Victory make their return to Epping Stadium next weekend, as they host Northcote City on Sunday 19 May, kicking off at 3:00pm.

VPL1 2024 Round 13

Western United 4

Melbourne Victory 4 (Monge 15′, Kolić 21′, Duratović 39′, Adams 81′)

Melbourne Victory U23s starting XI: Yona Sultan (GK), Dimi Palatsides, Josh Inserra, Matt Bozinovski, George Karvounis, Alex Menelaou (c), Fabian Monge, Luka Kolić, Jesse Hoey, Eli Adams, Adem Duratović