Thompson injury mars Victory win
A serious hamstring injury to star striker Archie Thompson has taken the gloss off a win that stretched Melbourne Victory's unbeaten A-League run to five matches at AAMI Park.
A serious hamstring injury to star striker Archie Thompson has taken the gloss off a win that stretched Melbourne Victory's unbeaten Hyundai A-League run to five matches at AAMI Park.
Victory ground down cellar-dwellers Perth Glory 2-0, but the big news surrounded the injury suffered by the Socceroo, just seconds after his brilliant goal on the stroke of half-time swung the match into the home side's favour.
Thompson immediately grabbed his hamstring after leaping over Glory goalkeeper Tando Velaphi, having completed a well-crafted move started by skipper Kevin Muscat and featuring a moment of brilliance from his partner in goals, Robbie Kruse.
Kruse's back-heel unlocked what had been a previously resolute Glory defence and Thompson did the rest, with a cool finish for his third goal of the campaign.
Defender Rody Vargas sealed the three points for Victory with his 63rd minute head from a Carlos Hernandez corner that beat Todd Howarth at the near post.
But back to the Victory's injury woes, with Thompson not the only high-profile casualty.
Defender Matthew Kemp's 100th game celebrations were cut short when he came off with a suspected groin injury in the 34th minute, while playmaker Hernandez was carried off late in the game nursing a rolled ankle.
On the bright side, Victory coach Ernie Merrick would be delighted that his side sealed back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Hernandez and his fellow Costa Rican Marvin Angulo were instrumental in proceedings, with the Victory's number 16 at his mercurial best, while Angulo continues to impress thanks to a continued run in the first team.
Right-back Surat Sukha was again solid and Muscat's distribution from the back was critical in Victory's success.
Victory wrested control of the contest during the latter stages of the first-half after a fairly even 30 minutes of the contest.
Thompson's goal certainly proved a heart-breaker for Glory, who were unable to improve on a run which features one win from their past 16 matches.
As a result, Glory are anchored to the foot of the table, one point behind North Queensland Fury and Sydney FC.
One of the few bright spots for the Western Australian side was the form of Scott Neville, whose mazy runs from right midfield were a feature of the first half.
But even his impact was blunted when he had to shift to right-back following the injury of youngster Josh Risdon.
Life doesn't get any easier for coach Ian Ferguson and the Glory, with a clash against second-placed Adelaide United on Wednesday night in Perth.
Next for the Victory is a home clash against Newcastle on December 27.