VPL Report: Victory late show secures impressive Eastern Lions win

Melbourne Victory claimed their third win of the VPL1 season on Monday night, with two goals in the final 15 minutes of action securing three points against Eastern Lions.

Team News

Head Coach Joe Palatsides made two changes to his XI, bringing Jordi Valadon and Marc Petheriotis into the team in place of Adem Duratović and Dimitri Palatsides, both of whom started on the bench.


Victory came into the game looking to return to the winners’ list, having most recently played out a 1-1 draw with Bentleigh Greens.

However, it was Eastern Lions who made the brighter start, having the ball in the back of the net in the opening two minutes.

Fortunately for Victory, the assistant’s flag came to the rescue and ensured the early score remained at 0-0.

The ensuing contest was a scrappy one, with neither side able to seize control of the proceedings.

Victory’s best early chance arose not long before the 20th minute, when a driving run from Jesse Hoey ended with a decent strike on target, before the rebound fell to Kasey Bos who also drew a strong save from the Eastern Lions goalkeeper.

The remainder of the half was tight as both teams fought for control of the general play.

Neither side were able to break the deadlock before the half-time whistle though, with everything still to play for in the second 45.

Victory made a promising start to the second stanza, delivering a series of dangerous balls from wide areas into the box.

However, the opening goal remained elusive.

Joe Palatsides turned to his bench as the game entered its final 20 minutes, bringing Adem Duratović and Dimitri Palatsides into the action.

The changes seemingly inspired the team into another gear, as Luka Kolić rattled the crossbar just a few minutes later.

Soon after, Victory would finally find the breakthrough.

Matt Bozinovski was the man to provide it, rising above the pack to head the ball into the back of the net from a wide delivery.

A crucial goal in the final 15 minutes, with Victor Muhindo being brought off the bench in the aftermath.

Muhindo made an immediate impact, making several daring runs into the Lions’ penalty area.

One such instance resulted in a penalty being awarded for a foul in the box, although Duratović’s subsequent spot-kick was well saved.

However, Duratović could not be kept quiet for much longer, as deep into injury time a long-range Kolić strike was palmed into the path of the number nine, who finished off the chance to seal the win for Victory.

A third success of the season for Victory, who continue to match the pace of their rivals to sit equal top of the VPL1 ladder after four rounds.

Next Up

Victory make their long-awaited return to Epping Stadium next time out as they welcome North Geelong Warriors on Sunday 10 March, kicking off at 3:00pm AEDT.

VPL1 2024 Round 4

Melbourne Victory 2 (Bozinovski 77′, Duratović 90+5′)

Eastern Lions 0

Melbourne Victory U23s starting XI: Christian Siciliano (GK), Josh Inserra, Kayne Razmovski, Kasey Bos, Alex Menelaou (c), Jordi Valadon, Matt Bozinovski, Luka Kolić, Eli Adams, Jesse Hoey, Marc Petheriotis