It proved all too familiar for the Newcastle Jets as they slumped to yet another 2-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory in front of 16,694 fans at AAMI Park, Kaine Sheppard’s late equaliser cancelled out by a wonderful James Troisi piledriver, in round 13 of the 2018/19 A-League.

Just last week (round 11), the Jets fell 2-1 to Victory’s neighbour, Melbourne City, at a similar venue – AAMI Park.

Kevin Muscat has now made it two triumphs in both meetings over Ernie Merrick this season. The earlier clash saw Victory claim a 1-0 win at McDonald Jones Stadium, courtesy of a Terry Antonis long ranger. Incidentally, it was also Victory’s first win of the season.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Melbourne Victory started the game with a host of changes, Kenny Athiu and Joshua Hope making their way into the starting eleven, replacing new boy Elvis Kamsoba and Kosta Barbarouses after the loss to Adelaide United ended the home side’s nine match unbeaten run.

Lawrence Thomas was sharp off the bat to deny O’Donovan in the third minute, incredulously getting down low to prevent an early calamity for Victory.

The quarter that ensued saw Hope, Athiu and Ola Toivonen with half chances but far from threatened Lewis Italiano in the Jets’ goal.

In the 43rd minute, a weak O’Donovan shot came off Thomas’ shin in a nervy scramble, leaving the Victory untroubled in the 43rd minute, the last bout of action in a half of rather uneventful and forgettable football.

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Within 3 minutes of the second half, the Victory pounced. A clever back flick by Athiu just on the edge of the box saw Terry Antonis delightfully curl the ball past Italiano’s right, who was caught stranded too far on the other side of his goal.

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The gentlest of touches by Thomas’ fingers denied Daniel Georgievski’s venomous drive in the 56th minute, the action replay on the two big screens of AAMI Park required for the crowd to fully appreciate the brilliance of the save.

Jair’s shot on the spin failed to trouble Thomas in the 65th minutes, in what was arguably the away’s side best opportunity thus far.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Only off the bench for a minute, Kane Sheppard made things interesting in the 77th minute by tapping in his initial point blank shot, saved by Thomas.

But the Jets’ equaliser was short lived. James Troisi restored the Victory’s lead in the 84th minute with a left footed rocket in the box, beating Italiano at his near post.

Even with five minutes of added time, Troisi’s magical strike proved the winner for the Victory.

As things stand, Victory sit second in the ladder, keeping the gap tight at the top, just three points away from league leaders Perth Glory. The Jets are now on a four game winless streak and have slipped further away from the 6th place finals spot.

Melbourne Victory will now hope to extend their winning ways just three days later against Brisbane Roar in the upcoming mid-week fixture, at Suncorp Stadium.

The Queensland outfit have not won a game of football in eight rounds, since their 2-0 triumph against Melbourne City in round 5, their only win in the 2018/19 A-League.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Terry Antonis 48′, James Troisi 84′)

Newcastle Jets 1 (Kaine Sheppard 78′)

Melbourne Victory

20.Lawrence Thomas (GK)
2.Storm Roux
3.Corey Brown
6.Leigh Broxham
7.Kenjok Athiu
8.Terry Antonis > 9.Kosta Barbarouses (’90)
14.Thomas Deng
10.James Troisi
11. Ola Toivonen > 24.Elvis Kamsoba (’73)
16.Joshua Hope > 15.Rael Baena (64’)
21.Carl Valeri (C)

Unused Subs
1.Matthew Acton (GK)
25.Anthony Lesiotis

Newcastle Jets

20.Lewis Italiano
3.Jason Hoffman
6.Steven Ugarkovic
8.Jair > 14.Kaine Sheppard (’77)
9.Roy O’Donavan
17.Daniel Georgievski > 32.Angus Thurgate (’73)
18.John Koutroumbis
23.Mathew Ridenton
44.Nikolai Topor-Stanley

Unused subs
1.Glen Moss (GK)
16.Nicholas Cowburn
22.Lachlan Jackson

AAMI Park

Referee : Daniel Elder
Assistant Referees : Wilson Brown, Tony Peart
Fourth Official : Jarred Gillet
Video Assistant Referee : Craig Zetter

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.