Melbourne Victory beat Kawasaki Frontale 1-0 at Docklands tonight to keep their hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the AFC Champions League from Group E alive.
A first-half penalty by Kevin Muscat settled the game.
But, it was a dubious penalty, awarded for a foul on Robbie Kruse, who appeared to be just outside the box when the challenge occurred and who seemed to go down far too easily.
Seconds before, Kawasaki had been denied a spot-kick at the other end.
Muscat produced a very physical display which, surprisingly, went unpunished. One elbow to the head of an opponent and a couple of arms across the body to impede others were let go by the Iranian referee.
The man-of-the-match was Melbourne goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak, who produced nine brilliant saves, some of them world class.
He turned one effort against the crossbar, while his reflex save in the dying seconds was outstanding.
Kawasaki had 55 per cent of the possession and won the corner count 13 to one.
European Champions League
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