Melbourne Victory steal three points late against Western United

-

Roderick Miranda’s header was the difference as Melbourne Victory narrowly beat Western United 1-0 on Saturday night.

In what was Tony Popovic’s first game in-charge of the Victorian powerhouse, it was the Portuguese defender’s header that separated the two teams at full-time.

The first-half was a cagey affair, with few clear opportunities and an array of basic errors. To the bemusement of Victory fans, referee Lachlan Keevers appeared to lose his whistle.

Embed from Getty Images

Pouncing on a loose ball in the middle of the pitch in the 13th minute, Jason Geria broke through the heart of the Western United defence before being shouldered off the ball by Tomoki Imai.

Despite getting nowhere near the ball, the referee waved play-on as Victory fans voiced their displeasure.

The one clear chance of the half fell to Ben Garuccio after a great ball down the left to Connor Pain. Following his run, Pain fed the ball back inside the penalty area as Garuccio’s near post shot was easily kicked away by Victory keeper Ivan Kevala.

Embed from Getty Images

Jason Geria scored himself a yellow card in the 42nd minute for bringing down Pain at the halfway line. Two minutes later, Chris Ikonomidis was brought down on the edge of the box by Neil Kilkenny, only for play to be waved on.

In what was arguably the highlight of the half, Ikonomidis threw himself to the ground mimicking a dive as Popovic gave Keevers a verbal spray from the sideline.

The second-half started in much the same manner.

Victory appeared to have won a penalty in the 51st minute, as Roderick Miranda’s header from the second phase of a corner struck the hand of a Western United player’s hand in the box.

Embed from Getty Images

Once again, penalty shouts were waved away by the referee.

However, Victory’s set piece prominence finally created the decisive moment for the match. Miranda lost Aleksandar Prijovic at the front post before powering Jake Brimmer’s corner past a hapless Jamie Young.

Embed from Getty Images

There was time for more controversy, as Alessandro Diamanti toyed with Jason Davidson in the box, before being brought down as he cut back onto his right foot. Despite what looked like an obvious trip, the referee once again waved play-on.

Diamanti picked up a 91st minute yellow card compounding the home side’s frustration.

The win sees Victory climb up to second on the ladder ahead of their first home game of the season against Brisbane Roar next Sunday. Western United will welcome Daniel Sturridge and Perth Glory to AAMI Park next Friday looking for their first win of the season.

Western United 0

Melbourne Victory 1 (Miranda 75’)

Stadium: GMHBA (Geelong)

Referee: Lachlan Keevers

Assistant Referees: Owen Goldrick & Andrew Meimarakis

Fourth Official: Jack Morgan

Western United: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Josh RISDON, Tomoki IMAI, Leo LACROIX, Ben GARUCCIO, Neil KILKENNY, Steven LUSTICA, Alessandro DIAMANTI (C), Lachlan WALES Dylan PIERIAS 77’), Connor PAIN, Dylan WENZEL-HALLS (Aleksandar PRIJOVIC 62’)

Unused Subs: Ryan SCOTT, Nicolas MILANOVIC, Jerry SKOTADIS, Christian THEOHAROUS, Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

 Melbourne Victory: Ivan KELAVA (GK), Jason GERIA, Brendan HAMILL, Roderick MIRANDA (C), Jason DAVIDSON (Stefan NIGRO 84’), Leigh BROXHAM, Rai Marchan, Jake BRIMMER, Ben FOLAMI (Nishan VELUPILLAY 64’), Chris IKONOMIDIS (Marco ROJAS 77’), Nicholas D’AGOSTINO (Francesco MARGIOTTA 64’)

Unused Subs: Robbie KRUSE, Jerrad TYSON, Jay BARNETT

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Dillon Izon
Marketing graduate at Monash University. Sports addicted, fan of Manchester United and Melbourne City. My gran “knows” Gareth Bale.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required