Melbourne Victory’s second last home game of the regular A-league season saw them host Brisbane Roar at Marvel Stadium. The home side were hunting their first A-league win in four games and this was a great opportunity to do so, again the struggling Roar.
The game started off with both sides getting in some early touches and it was the travelling side who had the first half chance of the game with Leck sending his volley well over the bar. But it wasn’t long before Victory started to show some attacking intent when Kosta Barbarouses had his shot blocked in the 10th minute.
The 18th saw Barbarouses again trying to make a nuisance of himself against the Roar defence trying to square the ball, but his teammates missed the memo and the Roar cleared it.
Hoping it wasn’t going to be another night of missed opportunities to score a couple goals, I was relieved when Barbarouses slotted the ball into the back of the net in the 24th minute.
It was a result of a beautiful through ball from Keisuke Honda, and the goal celebration was extremely touching following the terror attack in his native home of New Zealand. Our thoughts are with everyone in Christchurch and New Zealand during this difficult time.
It wasn’t smooth sailing for Victory following a spell of possession by the visitors seeing them earn back-to-back corners in the 32nd and 35th minutes, but the Roar couldn’t manage to find an equaliser.
Maybe it was the wakeup call the Victory needed because our favourite Kiwi sending in a beautiful volley in the 39th, but it was ruled offside.
Yep you guessed it the VAR was called in to check, after the linesmen kept his flag down.
Sure enough, he was on side and the goal was given!
A few minutes later and the half time scoreline saw 2-0 advantage for Melbourne and I was starting to pinch myself, could it be that we finally get a win to celebrate after what felt like forever?!
Subconsciously though I knew I shouldn’t get too excited because in our beautiful league, anything is possible. Sure enough, Eric Bautheac sent his shot over Acton into the back of the net in the 50th and the visitors got themselves on the scoresheet.
The 65th saw Raul Baena failing to capitalise on Honda’s pass in the box, sending his shot straight into White’s clutches.
Wenzell-Halls was denied a goal and the opportunity to draw the visitors level, after his leaping header at close range was blocked by Neidermeier in the 76th.
At this point I was starting to worry, a goal advantage doesn’t leave a lot of room for error and we all know how quickly a game of football can change.
As it turned out I didn’t have too much to worry about as both teams seemed to be looking a little flat toward the end. Factoring Victory’s travel to Japan for the Asian Champions League this week it was undesirable.
It was the Victory who had the last few chances of the match with quick back-back scoring opportunities in the first minute for stoppage time.
The first saw Kenny Athiu hit the post with a back-heel from Akbari’s cross and seconds later Barbarouses failed to convert yet another opportunity for a hat-trick.
In the end, Victory managed to hold on and secure the three points. While the Roar head home in what turned out to be another missed opportunity to secure a few points.
By Jakline Manevski