Celtic edge out Victory

A superb goalkeeping display from Tando Velaphi has failed to prevent Melbourne Victory falling 1-0 to Scottish giants Celtic at AAMI Park.

A superb goalkeeping display from Tando Velaphi has failed to prevent Melbourne Victory falling 1-0 to Scottish giants Celtic at AAMI Park.

Velaphi, who arrived in Melbourne at the end of the last A-League season, had shown a few of the qualities which attracted Victory to him in the AFC Champions League, but against quality opposition on Wednesday, he produced a fantastic performance, pulling of a string of saves.

It took until the 78th minute for Melbourne's defence to be breached with substitute, and usual skipper, Scott Brown firing a spectacular winner for the tourists.

Celtic's cosmopolitan first XI featured players from eight different countries, but they played a reasonably strong side considering it was the third game of their Australian tour.

They played by far the more enterprising football but were repeatedly denied by the former Glory stopper. Melbourne also had their chances to score, with Danny Allsopp missing excellent chances in either half to secure their first ever win against a major overseas touring club.

It is their fourth straight loss in a major off-season friendly having being defeated by Juventus, Fulham and Boca Juniors over the past three years.

Velaphi was just about the busiest man on the park in the first half and as soon as the sixth minute he was called on to repel a shot from Kris Commons.

Beram Kayal also threatened the Melbourne goal, putting one shot just over the bar while striking another straight at the Melbourne keeper.

Melbourne's best chance for the half fell to Allsopp on 25 minutes, who could not beat Lukasz Zaluska after getting on the end of some excellent build-up work from Tom Pondeljak and Marco Rojas.

But the rest of the half - apart from a handball shout against Celtic defender Adam Matthews - saw Velaphi holding fort against the tourists.

Paddy McCourt set up skipper Georgios Samaras, who couldn't beat the keeper from close range, before Velaphi then denied Commons again.

The young stopper saved his best effort for the half until the final minute, again denying Samaras with the Greek international through one-on-one.

The Velaphi show continued after the break as he deflected a Tom Mulgrew free kick over the bar and then closed down McCourt as he was about the score.

Victory then enjoyed a rare period of dominance, with substitute Jean Carlos Solorzano almost getting on the end of a Marco Rojas cross and then Allsopp missing two excellent chances in a minute.

The first he somehow bounced over the bar from about the penalty spot and the second he headed wide with the net open to him.

He wasn't the only one guilty of profligacy with Archie Thompson failing to force a save from two excellent chances soon after,

The waste disease was catching, and McCourt should have scored from Celtic on 65 minutes but put a close range header over the top, while Anthony Stokes hit the side netting with his effort.

It took Brown, who had come on just before the hour, to finally break the deadlock, unleashing from a Commons corner and hitting the back of the net with the assistance of a deflection.

The ball spent the rest of the game in Celtic's attacking half, but there was to be no more goals with Stokes rattling the bar and Daryl Murphy shooting just wide.

Melbourne Victory 0 Celtic 1 (Brown 78) Crowd: 20,794 at AAMI Park