VPL Report: Victory secure tenth win of campaign

Melbourne Victory won their tenth game of 2024 on Monday night, defeating Kingston City 2-1 at The Grange Reserve.

Team News

Head Coach Joe Palatsides made just one change to the XI which defeated Bulleen Lions 5-2, as Fabian Monge returned to the team in place of Jordi Valadon.


A cool evening in Melbourne’s south-east set the scene as Victory went in search of a sixth straight win.

The Grange Reserve is never an easy place for visiting teams to pick up points, a fact which was reflected in the tight and physical first 10 minutes.

However, a moment of magic from Alex Menelaou in the 15th minute handed Victory a highly coveted early lead.

A thunderous strike from outside the box proved to be unstoppable, as Victory quickly rediscovered their goal-scoring form from last week.

The game developed into an end-to-end affair following the goal, as both sides created decent chances to score the second of the night.

Christian Siciliano made a superb stop 10 minutes before half-time, keeping out a shot from a one-on-one chance with his legs.

Just before the half-time break, Victory took the chance to double their lead.

A slick attacking move sliced through the Kingston defence, ending at the feet of Adem Duratović who finished cooly into the bottom corner to ensure Victory would head into the sheds in a commanding position.

Duratović again looked dangerous early in the second period, firing a shot across his body which was narrowly kept out by the goalkeeper.

Kayne Razmovski and Dimi Palatsides were introduced after an hour played, whilst Tommaso Minutoli and Marc Petheriotis made their bow 10 minutes later.

Eli Adams came close as the game entered its final 15 minutes, pulling his attempt just wide of the post.

Victory appeared increasingly comfortable as the game edged towards its conclusion.

However, as the final 10 minutes arrived, the hosts pulled one goal back, bundling the ball over the line following a scramble in the box after a corner was sent into the area.

The tension rose late in the game, as Kingston searched desperately for an equaliser.

Victory’s defence though was steadfast, denying their hosts clear-cut opportunities.

Minutoli had a golden chance to seal the game in stoppage time, but another superb goalkeeper save kept the game alive.

Ultimately, however, Victory were able to hold out and secure their sixth consecutive win and tenth of the season altogether.

Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ post-match thoughts

On the performance…

“I thought we started the game off really well. We seemed to be in control of possession and when you have the ball for the majority of the time, you pretty much control the game.”

“Then we scored two good goals so we went into half-time 2-0 up.”

“But we always knew Kingston are a very dangerous team, especially the front third is really potent. You can never really relax playing them.”

“In the second half when the pace of the game just dropped off a bit and we didn’t control it as well, that’s when they got even more dangerous and scored.”

“We had a bit of luck at the end, but overall I thought we were the better team and we deserved the win.”

On the approach to the game

“Kingston likes to play good football.”

“We knew that we’d press them high for the majority of the game.”

“Even towards the end, even though it was 2-0 and we could have sat back and just defended that lead, we kept pressing high and forcing the turnovers.”

“If we were a bit more clinical we could have settled the game a lot sooner.”

“I’d like to see our boys play at an even higher level for the entire 90 minutes.”

On the goals…

“Alex’s goal was a great hit.”

“Both goals were really good goals which came at good times, which probably knocked the wind out of our opposition.”

“Again, I’d like to see us finish off the other chances. Once you do have that ascendancy, you want to really take advantage of it.”

On the connection with the A-League Men’s team…

“We’re so proud of the way the boys played yesterday.”

“The connection between this whole football club is clear to see. After a great game yesterday, the next thing you see is Tony Popovic and his entire staff at the VPL game.”

“We had a few of our boys who played in that game yesterday and they did extremely well. Tony Popovic is here looking for the next few boys who are going to step up.”

“I think that says a lot about our football club and how well-connected we are.”

Next Up

Victory’s next test is a big one, as they head to Ironbark Fields to take on Western United next weekend.

VPL1 2024 Round 12

Kingston City 1

Melbourne Victory 2 (Menelaou 15′, Duratović 40′)

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