Melbourne Victory defense on the mends

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Marco Kurz spent the off-season reshaping the Melbourne Victory squad in the hope of bettering the club’s defensive structure.

Leading into the round one Melbourne derby doubts remained among Victory fans, particularly following central defender Tim Hoogland’s ruling out with a hamstring injury.

Hoogland made it through the final training session before the derby before cruelly succumbing to injury toward the conclusion of the session.

“It was the last pass in the last session” Victory manager Marco Kurz said following the game.

“The last session is always the last one for the boys to feel comfortable for the game”

“The injury is very disappointing for us, but mostly for Tim.

“We will see how long, can’t say time, but he was not good enough to be a part of the game today”.

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Despite Hoogland being unavailable a 0-0 result in the Melbourne derby points to improvements in Victory’s defensive structure since last season.

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Victory went into the game with James Donachie, Storm Roux, Thomas Deng and returning fan favourite Adama Traore lining up in the backline with Lawrence Thomas named goalkeeper.

Ola Toivonen and Andrew Nabbout paired up in the attack and while the forward line struggled to perform it was Victory’s defense that kept them in the game.

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Thomas put his ability on show as he accumulated four saves for the night; the goalkeeper staying alert every time the ball made its way into the box and positioning himself perfectly.

The other 13 odd close encounters of scoring on the night were all deflected or at least had an added amount of pressure put upon them by the Victory.

The positive for Victory is that they finally have a defense that looks cohesive and is ready to commit to working towards conceding fewer goals this season.

Victory may not have finished with the win but the improvement of their defense is what fans of the club needed to see to reignite confidence in their club’s season prospects

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Tricia Mifsud
Covering Melbourne Victory during the 2019/2020 season. Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) at Latrobe University. Dedicated to writing articles that sports fans want to read.