World-class teams provide boost for Victory


Playing against world-class teams like Juventus and Atletico Madrid is giving Melbourne Victory a great chance to understand its preferred setup for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.

It’s more about the process, rather than the end result, which is of most significance to Victory head coach Kevin Muscat.

Muscat gave 19 players game time in the International Champions Cup Australia match against Juventus at the MCG on Saturday night, with five making their debuts for the club.

Victory came from behind to force a 1-1 draw after regular time, before going on to win the penalty shootout 4-3.

“Over the last three weeks, we’ve gone over some stuff we wanted to improve. The (Juventus) game was all about achieving some outcomes,” Muscat said.

“That’ll be the focus – for me to see if we achieve those challenges that we set out.

“The fact we beat them on penalties in the end, I’m not really paying too much attention to that at all.”

Muscat said he was pleased with the overall performance of the team against Juventus after a sluggish first half from both teams.

“It was typical early on of having a game in the pre-season,” he said. “I thought the intensity lifted, especially in the second half.

“There was some good stuff. To concede the way we did was disappointing, but I thought our reaction after that to put them under some pressure was excellent.

“Considering where we’re at in terms of our preparation for October, I thought it was a decent exercise.

“It was an honour and a privilege to be playing such a powerhouse of world football. They put on a good show as well, and we’re very grateful for that.”

Next up for Victory is a tour match against Atletico Madrid at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium on Sunday. Tickets are available here.

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