Five-star Victory thrash Bali United to keep ACL dream alive
Melbourne Victory have moved into the final playoff round of AFC Champions League qualifying after cruising to a 5-0 win over Bali United on Tuesday night.
Victory dominated from start to finish at AAMI Park and should have won by even more given the amount of chances they created.
Carlos Salvachua’s side scored twice in the first half through Migjen Basha and Josh Hope before Robbie Kruse, Ola Toivonen and Elvis Kamsoba completed the rout after the break.
The win means they now move into a final qualifier in Japan next Tuesday against Kashima Antlers, with the winner of that match to reach the group stages of the 2020 tournament.
Determined to play in this year’s ACL, Victory stormed out of the blocks against the Indonesian champions, who are still in their pre-season.
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Both Kruse and Andrew Nabbout had multiple efforts on goal inside the first 14 minutes before Basha got the breakthrough.
Storm Roux was the architect, beating one defender down the right before crossing to Kamosba who flicked the ball into the path of the Albanian to fire into the roof of the net.
Kamsoba should have doubled the lead soon after when he hit the post twice in the space of a couple of seconds.
First he headed Kruse’s crosses onto the post before a combination and the keeper and the woodwork denied him again and he poke the rebound back towards goal.
The end-to-end nature of the contest continued until Hope doubled Victory’s lead eight minutes before the break when he tapped into an empty net after being set up by Kruse.
Victory’s dominance continued after the break and Kruse added a third just before the hour-mark.
Youngster Anthony Lesiotis combined with Kamsoba on the edge of the box before crossing to the Socceroo to sweep it home from close range.
The returning Toivonen came on for his first appearance in a month as he returned from injury, with the Swedish international playing the last 25 minutes.
And Toivonen came up with the goal of the night eight minutes from time.
It came after a bit of a goal-mouth scramble that saw Jay Barnett hit the crossbar before the Bali defence cleared straight to Toivonen on the edge of the box, who hit a sweet first-time volley that was unstoppable.
Kamsoba then completed then put icing on the cake in the final minute with a maiden goal for the club in a timely boost ahead of their Big Blue against Sydney FC on Friday night.