History for Berisha as Victory take Newcastle

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Besart Berisha’s 91st A-League goal was the spice needed to heat up Melbourne Victory’s first half against the Newcastle Jets at Simonds Stadium

A dubious 30th minute penalty to Jets’ keeper Jack Duncan’s right was all the Albanian needed to surpass Archie Thompson as the A-League’s all time leading scorer.

It was a frosty 16 degrees in Geelong on Monday night, a full 20 degrees cooler than Victory’s last match against the Central Coast Mariners, which might explain the very slow and frankly boring opening stages of the match.

Despite James Troisi and Marco Rojas trying to liven up the open minutes it took until the 30th minute for the game to open up.

Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s cross hit what looked like the shoulder and chest of John Koutroumbis in the box but Chris Beath had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, despite some fierce protest from the Jets.

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Berisha stepped up and the rest is what they call history.

Five minutes later Berisha was in the thick of it again as it was his pass that released Troisi, who then found Rojas at the back post.

That was all the Kiwi needed to grab his ninth goal of the season, making an awkward finish seem simple.

The second half started no better for the visitors as Duncan’s fumble saw Ben Khalfallah’s 60th minute shot go over the line.

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Yet a minute later the Jets had pulled one back through Lei Lei Ma, firing from distance past a disappointed Lawrence Thomas.

With the Jets finally arriving in the game, it was Troisi who thought that his 69th minute shot was the time to break his season goal drought.

The Victory number ten picked the ball up after Daniel Mullen comically flopped to the ground in search of a foul off Jai Ingham and, with no regard for the ball’s life, smashed it past Duncan for the Victory’s fourth goal of the evening.

The goals kept on coming as Wayne Brown’s shot took a heavy deflection off Carl Valeri and past Thomas.

The Jets were hungry for the match now and were causing a faltering Victory problems with Hoole nearly grabbing a third on 82 minutes, following a deflected cross into the box.

Despite a late Aleksandr Kokko header being saved on the line neither side were able to add to the scoreline with the Victory taking the three points 4-2.

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Melbourne Victory  4 (30′ Berisha (P), 35′ Rojas, 60′ Ben Khalfallah, 69′ Troisi)
Newcastle Jets 2 (61′ LeiLei, 76′ Valeri (OG))

Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referees: George Lakrindis, Luke Brennan
Fourth Official: Shaun Evans

Stadium: Simonds Stadium, Geelong
Attendance: 14,081

Melbourne Victory: 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 2. GERIA Jason, 15. BARO Alan, 17. DONACHIE James, 6. BROXHAM Leigh, 13 BOZANIC Oliver (72′), 21. VALERI Carl (C), 10. TROISI James, 14. BEN KHALFALLH Fahid (65′), 7 ROJAS Marco (88′), 8. BERISHA Besart

Substitutes: 4. ANSELL Nicholas, 5. GEORGIEVKSI Daniel (72′), 9. BEISTER Maximilian (88′), 23 INGHAM Jai (65′), 40. ACTON Matthew (GK).

Coach: Kevin Muscat

Newcastle Jets: 20. DUNCAN Jack, 3. HOFFMAN Jason, 28. KOUTROUMBIS John, 2. MULLEN Daniel, 13. VUJICA Ivan (41′), 8. POLJAK Mateo (81′), 6. UGARKOVIC Steven, 10. BROWN Wayne, 7. HOOLE Andrew, 15. NABBOUT Andrew (55′), 19. NORDSTRAND Morten

Substitutes: 9. KOKKO Aleksandr (81′), 16. COWBURN Nicholas (41′), 18. LEI LEI Ma (55′), 22. JACKSON Lachlan, 30. CLARK Pierce (GK)

Coach: Mark Jones

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

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