Berisha hattrick sees Victory too good for Phoenix

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Melbourne Victory dismantled a struggling Wellington Phoenix 6-1 in front of 20,113 strong crowd at Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

Coming off the back of a devastating FFA Cup Semi Final loss to crosstown rivals Melbourne City, Victory looked to bounce back with a win over the winless Phoenix. A hattrick to star striker Besart Berisha helped them do just that.

Despite missing injured captain Carl Valeri, Victory bossed the game in a comprehensive display from the three time champions.

Daniel Georgievski and Mitchell Austin looked lively down the left flank in the first half but failed to deliver any quality final product.

But that all changed when in the 20th minute Georgievski was brought down in the box after a clumsy challenge from Rolieny Bonevacia.

Besart Berisha stepped up and converted to make the score 1-0 to the Victory.

It would not be two minutes later that Berisha would be back at the spot, brought down himself immediately after the restart, this time by Dylan Fox who was booked for his troubles.

Again Berisha scored the penalty leaving the Phoenix gob smacked and two goals down after a disastrous two minutes.

Despite the calamitous defending, Wellington still reminded the Victory of the attacking prowess they have.

Victory old boys Gui Finkler and Kosta Barbarouses looked dangerous with their pace and creativity but lacked the clinical touch in the final third.

Ernie Merrick went into the break with work to do, his men 2-0 down and still goalless this season.

The second half didn’t start well for Phoneix with Fox receiving his marching orders after he was booked again for fouling Mitch Austin.

Yet three minutes later the Phoenix received a lifeline when Alan Baro fouled Roy Krishna inside the box, who duly converted the penalty himself.

With the score 2-1 Kevin Muscat brought on the returning James Troisi to help confirm the three points.

The Socceroo almost immediately had an impact on the game with his block rebounding into the path of Berisha who should have killed the game but dragged his shot wide of Glen Moss’s goal.

Marco Rojas would not make the same mistake in the 71st minute, picking up the loose ball, rounding Andrew Durante and slipping it past the oncoming Moss.

The Kiwi wasn’t done yet after a Troisi ball was cleared straight into his path.

With Moss off his line Rojas simply passed the ball into the back of the empty goal giving Victory a 4-1 lead with 14 minutes to go.

Rojas then teed up Berisha’s hattrick, sliding the ball into the path of the striker who clipped it past Moss.

Austin closed out the rout with Rojas setting him up for Victory’s sixth goal after a tearing run through the midfield.

Muscat will however have concern for his Kiwi magician after he pulled up lame clutching what seemed to be his hamstring in the dying moments of the game.

Melbourne Victory now head to top of the table Sydney FC for the next edition of the Big Blue, whilst Wellington are still to win this season.

 

Melbourne Victory 6 Berisha (20’ (P), 22’ (P), 82’), Rojas (71’, 77’), Austin (91’)
Wellington Phoenix 1 Krishna (63’ (P))

Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

Crowd: 20,113

Etihad Stadium

Melbourne Victory: 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 2. GERIA Jason, 4. ANSELL Nicholas, 15. BARO Alan, 5. GEORGIEVSKI Daniel (57’), 16. MAHAZI Rashid (84’), 6. BROXHAM Leigh (C), 7 ROJAS Marco, 13. BOZANIC Oliver (63’), 11. AUSTIN Mitchell, 8. BERISHA Besart.
Substitutes: 27. BRAY Alastair, 10. TROISI James (63’), 14. BEN KHALFALLAH Fahid, 17. DONACHIE James (84’), 22. NIGRO Stefan (57’)

Wellington Phoenix: 1. MOSS Glen (GK), 6. FOX Dylan, 12. PARKHOUSE Adam, 22. DURANTE Andrew, 2. TRATT Jacob, 17. LIA Vince, 7. FINKLER Guilherme (68’), 4. BONEVACIA Rolieny, 10. MCGLINCHEY Michael, 21. KRISHNA Roy, 9. BARBAROUSES Kosta (80’).
Substitutes: 20. ITALIANO Lewis (GK), 16. FENTON Louis, 18. LITFIN Benjamin (80’), 14. RUFER Alex, 23. RIDENTON Matthew (68’)

 

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Alexander Hatzikostas
Passionate Football writer, commentator, but most importantly fan.

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