Victory held in six-goal ACL thriller against Ulsan in Melbourne
Melbourne Victory have opened their 2018 AFC Champions League campaign with an absorbing 3-3 draw against Korean outfit Ulsan Hyundai on Tuesday night.
In an entertaining encounter at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, the Hyundai A-League side had to show tremendous character as they were forced to come-from-behind on three separate occasions.
Dutch winger Leroy George was the star for Victory, scoring two goals while providing an assist for Rhys Williams’ goal.
While disappointed not to have taken all three points, Kevin Muscat’s side showed enough to suggest they are a great chance to progress from the group stage.
Victory have this weekend off in the Hyundai A-League before travelling to China to face Shanghai SIPG in their second group match next Tuesday night.
STORY OF THE GAME
- EVEN START: Great intensity and endeavour shown by both sides, showing good intent to attack.
- WILLIAMS GOES CLOSE: The Victory defenders shot flashes across the face of goal via a deflection. The best chance of the first 20 minutes.
- GOAL TO ULSAN! Mislav Orsic with a rocket of a free-kick to give the visitors the lead on 25 minutes.
- GOAL TO VICTORY! What a response from Victory, who hit back within a minute thanks to George to restore parity
- GOAL TO ULSAN! The Koreans go back in front from a corner as Richard Windbichler heads it in from a corner.
- GOAL TO VICTORY! This time Victory were behind for three minutes with George the man to respond again. What a crazy game!
- HALF-TIME: A breathless and entertaining first half comes to an end all square with both sides really going for it.
- FLASHPOINT: Just minutes into the second half, a heavy challenge by Kosta Barbarouses on Park Joo Ho sparks a melee with a number of players from both sides. The Victory winger picked up a yellow card.
- GOAL TO ULSAN! Another stunner from Orsic from outside the box, giving Ulsan the lead for a third time on 51 minutes.
- GOAL TO VICTORY! Barely three minutes after going behind, Victory equalise again via Rhys Williams’ pinpoint header.
- OFF THE WOODWORK! Besart Berisha almost scores an own goal as his header from Orsic’s corner hits the post and bounces away to safety.
- KING KENNY IS INTRODUCED: Victory boss Kevin Muscat replaced Berisha with Kenny Athiu and within a minute of coming on he almost made an impact with a shot that went just over the bar.
- GEORGE CLOSE TO HAT-TRICK: The Dutchman was denied by a good reflex save by the keeper after great interplay between George and Athiu inside the Ulsan box.
Orsic: Ulsan 0-1 - 25’
A stunning strike! Awarded a free kick about 35 yards from Victory’s goal, Orsic lets fly and his powerful strike dipped and swerved to beat Lawrence Thomas down low to his left.
George: Victory 1-1 - 26’
A scuffed defensive clearance falls to Besart Berisha on the edge of the box who hit a left-foot volley on the turn. Ulsan keeper Kin Yongdae spilled the ball into the path of George who poked it home from close range.
Windbichler: Ulsan 1-2 - 34’
A poor goal for Victory to concede with Windbichler left alone to nod in from Orsic’s wonderfully whipped-in corner.
George: Victory 2-2 - 37’
The Dutchman with a piercing run inside from the left, combining with Berisha again before beating Yongdae with a rasping shot from just inside the box.
Orsic: Ulsan 2-3 – 51’
Receiving the ball on the left of the box and just outside the area, Orsic curls a stunning strike over Thomas into the far top corner of the net. An absolute howitzer!
Williams: Victory 3-3 - 54
George turns provider this time, with his in-swinging free-kick from the right perfectly weighted for Williams, who had the simple task to head it past a stranded Yongdae.