Victory peaking at the right time

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says his team are timing their run perfectly ahead of the A-League finals and AFC Champions League group stage.

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says his team are timing their run perfectly ahead of the A-League finals and AFC Champions League group stage.

Speaking after Victory defeated Muangthong United 2-1 to secure a berth in the ACL group stage, Muscat hailed his team's belief and attacking intent against the Thai club.

Victory dominated large spells of the match in Geelong on Saturday night and, although they had to come from behind to win, with Leigh Broxham scoring a rare goal to clinch victory, Muscat reckons his side are approaching their best form.

The former defender conceded Victory 'need to defend collectively better' but sent out a warning to  rivals that they will be a force to be reckoned with when the ACL group stage starts later this month and the A-League finals begin in April.

"There are some things we need to work on ... just to give us a (more solid) platform to go on and win games because you can't tell me that we're not going to create chances in a game," Muscat said.

"When we're close to our best and at our best, we are going to create chances."

Victory have dropped to fourth on the A-League ladder after Adelaide United's 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners on Friday night, while they will face reigning ACL champions Guangzhou Evergrande, Jeonbuk Motors of South Korea and Japan's Yokohama F. Marinos in Group G of the regional competition.

However, Victory did not always look comfortable at Simonds Stadium in Geelong.

Muangthong took a first-half lead when Mario Durovski scored direct from a corner but James Troisi's header just before the hour mark and Broxham's deflected long-range strike with seven minutes remaining saw the hosts triumph.

Victory captain Mark Milligan had a penalty saved on the stroke of half-time, while Muangthong wasted two big chances to double their lead just after the break, but Muscat never doubted his side's ability to prevail.

"I had the utmost confidence that we were going to get a goal in the second half, there was no doubt and the players believed that as well; worked hard right till the end there," the 40-year-old coach said.

"Look, they could have had one or two more (goals) but maybe it should have been 6-3, because we had a number of chances."

Victory's next match is against Adelaide on Saturday night in Melbourne, while they will begin their ACL group stage campaign in China on February 26 against Evergrande.