VPL Report: Victory secure fifth straight win

Melbourne Victory survived a second-half fightback from Bulleen Lions to run out 5-2 winners on Saturday afternoon, extending their winning run to five games.

Team News

Head Coach Joe Palatsides made two changes to the team which defeated Langwarrin SC, bringing Jordi Valadon and Eli Adams back into the XI, replacing Kayne Razmovski and Victor Muhindo.


Kicking-off in the unusual surrounds of Pitch 5 at The Home of the Matildas, two teams right in the race for promotion clashed on Saturday afternoon.

The start to the game was a cagey one, with neither team able to establish firm control.

Victory though were the first team to have the ball in the back of the net, following a delightful build-up involving Adem Duratović and Jesse Hoey which ended with the winger crossing the ball into the path of Eli Adams to finish, but the offside flag denied the hosts an early lead.

Minutes later, Linus Bourke played a superb cross into the box, but it was just beyond the reach of a lunging Duratović.

Victory though were gradually tightening their grip of the contest and soon had the opening goal their performance deserved.

Another piece of excellent build-up saw Luka Kolić combine with Duratović, before sliding the ball through to Adams.

Adams’ first strike was well saved, but rebounded back into his path, allowing the winger to finish off the chance at the second time of asking and handing his side the lead.

Victory continued to pile on the pressure having secured the advantage.

Duratović put the ball in the back of Bulleen’s net for a third time in the half, executing a brilliant chip finish to beat the on-rushing goalkeeper after a superb Jordi Valadon pass, but once again the offside flag curtailed any celebrations.

Kolić hit the crossbar soon after, before Victory were finally able to score their second of the afternoon.

Duratović got his reward after a strong first half performance, making a brilliant run past multiple Bulleen defenders before powering his shot past the goalkeeper.

The second goal ensured Victory would head into the half-time break with a commanding lead, 2-0 the score.

Bulleen made a strong start to the second 45, seizing control of the play after the re-start.

The away side were rewarded with a goal for their efforts, halving the deficit just minutes into the second half.

However, as the game threatened to take a dramatic turn, Kolić stepped up to settle his team.

A clinical finish into the bottom corner, just minutes after Bulleen’s goal, was crucial in halting the Lions’ early momentum.

Kayne Razmovski, Dimi Palatsides and Damien Bozinovski were all brought into the action soon after, but the goal-mouth action showed no signs of slowing down.

Bulleen scored their second of the afternoon just after the hour mark, ensuring the game would remain hotly contested for most of the second half.

Tommaso Minutoli was brought off the bench for the final 15 minutes, which was a move that would soon be shown to be a pivotal one.

As Bulleen were forced to commit bodies forward in search of an equaliser, Victory capitalised on the extra space left in-behind, with substitute Minutoli carrying the ball forward as part of a counter-attacking move in the final 10 minutes, before curling his effort around the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.

A crucial goal which looked to have sealed the win, Minutoli was taking full advantage of his opportunity against a tiring opposition.

The forward was once in the right position to benefit in the final minute of stoppage time, as the ball was won back high up the pitch by Adams, before teeing-up Minutoli who added a second goal to his tally for the afternoon.

5-2 the full-time score, with Victory running over the top of Bulleen despite a second-half scare.

Five straight wins for Joe Palatsides’ team, maintaining their impressive lead on top of the VPL1 ladder.

Next Up

Victory will enjoy a couple of extra days’ rest before their next fixture, when they head to The Grange Reserve to take on Kingston City next Monday 6 May, kicking off at 8:30pm.

VPL1 2024 Round 11

Melbourne Victory 5 (Adams 33′, Duratović 42′, Kolić 53′, Minutoli 81′, 90+3′)

Bulleen Lions 2

Melbourne Victory U23s starting XI: Christian Siciliano (GK), Linus Bourke, Josh Inserra, Matt Bozinovski, George Karvounis, Alex Menelaou (c), Jordi Valadon, Luka Kolić, Jesse Hoey, Eli Adams, Adem Duratović