Saturday 13 July 2019

Victory does it the hard way against Perth

Melbourne Victory left it very late but came up with another victory by a goal to nil over Perth Glory in the A-League match at Telstra Dome last night in front of 22,890 fans.

Scottish midfielder Grant Brebner did the damage with a thunderous shot in the 88th minute.

After the pyrotechnics of last week, when there were five goals and two dismissals in the first half, the game started more sedately.

Perth soaked up Victory’s early pressure, though Ryan Townsend had to resort to a fierce lunge on Adrian Caceres to prevent a dangerous break.

This resulted in a booking for the Perth defender.

Melbourne’s passing game was not as crisp and accurate as in recent games and they missed the drive from suspended skipper, Kevin Muscat, in midfield.

Youngster Kristian Sarkies was the main playmaker and he nearly engineered a couple of breaks for Archie Thompson and Brazilian Fred, but both were snuffed out by the experienced Glory defence.

It took more than half an hour for Victory to force its first corner kick, but then it picked up another but both were fruitless.

The closest to a goal came when Danny Allsopp’s long diagonal cross gave Socceroo Thompson a few millimetres of space in the goal area between two Perth defenders, but his attempted lob flew just over the bar.

At the other end Leo Bertos also put a shot over the bar.

Fred set up Danny Allsopp on the edge of the box, but the big striker’s shot was too close to the keeper, so the first half ended goal-less.

After another ten minutes coach Ernie Merrick brought on another Brazilian Alessandro for Caceres to inject more pace into the Victory attack.

Sarkies then found Allsopp with a through ball but the striker and the league’s top scorer could not add to his tally.

In the move Naum Sekulovski crashed into his keeper but both recovered to play on.

The former Victorian then got on the end of a Perth attack before blasting over the top.

Victory kept pressing and from a Sarkies corner kick the ball was knocked out to Grant Brebner and the Scottish midfielder hammered a volley saved by keeper Tommi  Tomich.

Thompson and Allsopp who have been working so well together in recent weeks seemed to get isolated from each other and attacks kept breaking down as Perth sat back and soaked up the pressure.

When it did lift the siege Adrian Webster curled a shot just wide.

Victory went back up the other end and won a free kick out on the left.

After it was cleared by the defence it fell invitingly for Brebner who laced it into the bottom corner with two minutes left to play.

So the Victory got its deserved win, but it was hard going.

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