Brimmer magic helps Victory edge Western United in semi-final first leg

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Jake Brimmer’s second-half wondergoal has seen Melbourne Victory take a one-goal advantage into Saturday’s semi-final second-leg against Western United.

In what was the first of four-45 minute halves over the next four days, Western started the strongest on Tuesday night.

An early penalty-shout was waved off by experienced referee Alireza Faghani, as Dylan Wenzel-Halls went down easily after a slight nudge by Jason Davidson in the fifth minute.

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Three minutes later United should have taken the lead. Aleksandar Prijovic was left unmarked from a corner, but could only direct his header towards the centre of the goal, enabling Ivan Kelava to make an impressive save.

It was a contrast in styles as Victory looked to play their way through the middle, whilst Western focused on long balls over the top.

From there on, it was all Victory.

In the 23rd minute Marco Rojas found a wide-open Nicholas D’Agostino in front of goal, but the in-form marksmen volleyed over the bar from the edge of the six-yard box.

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A speculative effort from Brimmer saw Young beaten, only for the ball to narrowly float over the bar in the 41st minute. It was sign of frustration from the creative outlet as Western dropped deeper.

There was one last chance for the half, as great play between Jake Brimmer and Josh Brillante saw the former send in a low cross from the right, only for D’Agostino’s goalward shot to be deflected out for a corner.

The second half was much of the same.

Western United’s only avenue to goal was set-pieces as a 64th minute header by Leo Lacroix from Ben Garuccio’s corner was as close as they came to finding the back of the net.

Connor Pain and Josh Risdon traded yellow cards as Victory continued to assert dominance.

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The breakthrough finally came in the 74th minute. Jason Davidson’s corner was cleared by Jamie Young but his punch found Brimmer on the edge of the box.

Off one-step, the midfielder volleyed the ball past a hapless Young sending the away end into raptures.

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The closest that United came was an 85th minute Kilkenny throughball that found Garuccio. His first time ball across goal was narrowly missed by substitute Dylan Pierias.

Victory take the narrow advantage into Saturday night’s second-leg. They will be confident given the result and their advantageous home support, but Western will be buoyed by the final 10 minutes in which they created a few chances.

Western United 0

Melbourne Victory 1 (Brimmer 74’)

Stadium: AAMI Park

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Western United: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Joshua RISDON (C), Tomoki IMAI, Leo LACROIX, Benjamin GARUCCIO, Lachlan WALES, Jerry SKOTADIS, Neil KILKENNY, Connor PAIN, Dylan WENZEL-HALLS (Dylan PIERIAS 80’), Aleksandar PRIJOVIC

Unused Subs: Ryan SCOTT (GK), Nicolas MILANOVIC, Benjamin COLLINS, Christian THEOHAROUS, Noah BOTIC, Rhys BOZINOVSKI

Melbourne Victory: Ivan KELAVA (GK), Jason GERIA, Matthew SPIRANOVIC, Roderick MIRANDA, Jason DAVIDSON, Joshua BRILLANTE (C), Rai MARCHAN, Jake BRIMMER (Leigh BROXHAM 90’), Ben FOLAMI (Nishan VELUPILLAY 80’), Nicholas D’AGOSTINO (Francesco MARGIOTTA 90’), Marco ROJAS (Christopher IKONOMIDIS 70’)

Unused Subs: Matthew ACTON (GK), Brendan HAMILL, Birkan KIRDAR

Feature image credit:Ngau Kai Yan

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

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