First win for Victory

Archie Thompson poured pain on Ricki Herbert as Melbourne Victory ended their winless start to the season with a 2-1 win over 10-man Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Archie Thompson poured pain on Ricki Herbert as Melbourne Victory ended their winless start to the season with a 2-1 win over 10-man Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

The New Zealand-born striker notched three minutes before half-time in a period Wellington dominated.

A 66th-minute penalty from Carlos Hernandez, after Ben Sigmund pulled down Thompson in the area, proved to be the match-winner.

Dani Sanchez hit back with a firm strike five minutes later, but the previously winless and scoreless Victory weathered a late storm to triumph.

Wellington, missing key attacker Paul Ifill, had the lion's share of the opportunities and Sanchez had the bulk of those.

The Spaniard mustered the first meaningful chance of the game, aiming just wide of Ante Covic's goal cutting in from the Phoenix left. He also saw a free kick, header and deft chip all go close.

All Wellington's best chances came down the left with young full back Matthew Foschini often exposed in Mehmet Durakovic's attacking 4-2-1-3 formation.

Tim Brown, returning from a one-match ban, and Leo Bertos also spurned first-half chances.

Melbourne had been restricted to two long-range efforts from their Costa Rican playmaker Hernandez before Thompson's intervention made Wellington pay for their profligacy, cutting inside from the left and finished his run with a measured shot from wide that left Tony Warner with no chance.

Wellington began the second period in charge, Sanchez testing Covic before Chris Greenacre hit the woodwork from a Leo Bertos cross, this time from the right wing.

Warner blocked Harry Kewell's shot after tenacious play from Thompson on the hour beginning a concerted period of pressure in the game.

Their dominance translated to the score sheet midway through the second half.

Hernandez won the ball from Brown and sent Thompson through on goal with a clever ball.

Thompson lined up a shot but Sigmund hauled him down six metres out from goal.

Referee Peter Green had little option but to give Sigmund, the last defender, a red card.

Hernandez calmly struck the resulting penalty to Warner's left to double the Victory's lead.

Sanchez's persistence was finally rewarded with a sweetly-struck effort in the 71st minute.

Brent Griffiths' header teed up the midfielder, who hit a firm drive from the edge of the area.

Thompson had a second effort ruled offside and although the 10 men rallied, they couldn't force a draw as Melbourne leap-frogged their hosts in the league ladder.

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Sanchez 71) Melbourne Victory 2 (Thompson 42, Hernandez 67p)