Victory break home hoodoo as resurgence claims Jets
Melbourne Victory finally notched their first home success of the season with a crucial 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Beaten 4-1 by Ernie Merrick's men in November, Victory exacted a measure of revenge as Kosta Barbarouses and Besart Berisha scored either side of Jason Hoffman's second in as many matches.
Mark Milligan spurned a chance to put the result beyond doubt from the spot, but his failure to convert proved inconsequential as the home side did enough to momentarily climb above rivals Melbourne City.
STORY OF THE GAME
- With the first real sight of goal, Hoffman headed over from Nikolai Topor-Stanley's delicate dinked pass in behind.
- Victory's pressing pinned back the Jets and resulted in a well-constructed opening goal through Barbarouses shortly after the half-hour.
- Leroy George so nearly doubled the advantage, only to see his firm low effort come back off the base of the far post.
- But it was all square on the stroke of half-time as Hoffman netted for the second successive match.
- Parity lasted fewer than eight minutes of the second half as Berisha fired Victory back ahead with his fifth of the campaign.
- Milligan should have made the game safe from the spot on the hour, but Glen Moss kept out his meek penalty after Ivan Vujica had bundled over Jason Geria.
- Hoffman again headed a good chance over from Dimitri Petratos' teasing cross and that proved to be Newcastle's final opportunity.
Barbarouses, Melbourne Victory 33': 1-0
Mark Milligan released Jason Geria into the area and the defender's cut-back was superbly swept inside the left post by Barbarouses.
Hoffman, Newcastle Jets 45'+1: 1-1
Steven Ugarkovic drove through midfield and threaded a perfect through ball for Hoffman, who finished coolly in a one-on-one.
Berisha, Melbourne Victory 53': 2-1
After Milligan won possession in midfield, Berisha raced onto George's first-time ball over the top and thumped his finish inside Moss' near post.