Melbourne Victory have miraculously pulled off a stunning 2-1 win against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night.

Finding inspiration from the bench proved to be a masterstroke for Kevin Muscat and his men, as substitutes Leroy George and Kenny Athiu stood up when it counted to win the match for their side.

It was a big call to start George off the bench but it was clear that when he came on it provided Victory the spark that they desperately required.

Wellington held on for as long as they could but the pressure of Victory was eventually rewarded. Athiu was taken down by Dylan Fox in a clear-cut penalty decision to begin the memorable comeback.

George took the responsibility from the spot and made no mistake to grab the equaliser. Victory found huge momentum from this point with Athiu the one who pinch the win. A well weighted ball from James Troisi invited the former Heidelberg United striker to put away his header which sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

Wellington held on for as long they could, lasting more than 80 minutes with a 1-0 lead due to a Leigh Broxham own goal. An upset was on the cards as Broxham provided the Nix with their unlikely advantage after a clearance attempt that went horribly wrong into his own net.

The Nix would be devastated to not clinch what could’ve been a major upset and arguably the biggest of the entire season. Instead, they face another defeat with matters made worse by a late red card to Alex Rufer who kicked out at Terry Antonis which was spotted by VAR.

Melbourne Victory 2 (George (P) 83′, Athiu 87′)
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Broxham O.G 23′)

AAMI Park

Referee: Jarred GILLETT
Assistant Referees: Anton SHCHETININ & Daniel ILIEVSKI
Fourth Official: Jonathan BARREIRO

Melbourne Victory
6. BROXHAM Leigh (C), 8. BERISHA Besart (7. ATHIU Kenjok 72′), 10. TROISI James, 14. DENG Thomas, 17. DONACHIE James, 18. SANCHEZ Matias (21. VALERI Carl 53′), 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 22. NIGRO Stefan, 23. INGHAM Jai (41. GEORGE Leroy 53′), 24. ANTONIS Terry, 31. THEOHAROUS Christian.
Substitutes: 1. ACTON Matthew (GK), 16. HOPE Joshua.

Wellington Phoenix
4. PARACKI Goran, 6. FOX Dylan, 7. BURNS Nathan, 8. LJUJIC Matija (14. RUFER Alex 71′), 18. SINGH Sarpreet, 19. DOYLE Thomas (10. MCGLINCHEY Michael 46′), 20. SAIL Oliver (GK), 21. KRISHNA Roy (C) (24. ROGERSON Logan 81′), 22. DURANTE Andrew, 23. RIDENTON Matthew, 26. CACACE Liberato.
Substitutes: 1. ITALIANO Lewis (GK), 9. KALUDEROVIC Andrija.

Feature image credit: Cameron McIntosh

SHARE
Liam Watson is covering Melbourne Victory this season while completing Media and Communications at La Trobe University.