Sunday, January 17, 2010

Melbourne glory in 6-2 victory over Perth

Photos (Top to Bottom): Rodrigo Vargas...scored own-goal against Perth; Victory coach Ernie Merrick was delighted with the win; Leigh Broxham played well at left-back and took some dangerous corners for Melbourne [PlessPix]

Melbourne Victory are second on the A-League ladder after a convincing 6-2 mauling of sixth-ranked Perth Glory on a shocking surface at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne last night.

Indeed, Perth coach Dave Mitchell almost refused to play the match on a surface that looked like a farm paddock after a New Year Eve concert on the ground.

The crowd of 20,448 were eventually treated to a goal avalanche and the playing conditions were forgotten.

Archie Thompson fired Victory into a 4th-minute lead after a superb through-ball by Carlos Hernandez.

Robbie Kruse made it 2-0 in the 12th minute.

A minute later, only a fine save by Tando Velaphi denied Thompson a second goal.

An own-goal by Rodrigo Vargas following a corner in the 20th minute put Perth back into the game, but Kruse got on to the end of a marvellous Victory move involving Nick Ward, Thompson and Tommy Pondeljak to restore Victory’s two-goal buffer in the 26th minute.

In the 29th minute, Velaphi again produced a first-class save, this time to deny Hernandez.

Kruse completed his hat-trick in the 39th minute and the Melbourne players trooped to the dressing rooms with a 4-1 lead at half-time.

Mile Sterjovski made it two goals the difference when he hit a wonderful low drive from just outside the box as the Melbourne defence retreated and failed to shut him down as he ran through from midfield.

But, a 79th minute penalty, awarded for Jacob Burns’s foul on Thompson, was converted coolly by Kevin Muscat to make it 5-2 for the home side.

Hernandez capped an excellent display with Melbourne’s sixth goal 8 minutes from the end. He beat the Perth off-side trap and rolled the ball through Velaphi’s legs and into the net.

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