Victory power past Port Melbourne

Melbourne Victory defeated Port Melbourne 6-0 in a pre-season friendly at JL Murphy Reserve on Tuesday night.

Victory was by far the superior team from the first minute to the last, dominating possession and controlling the tempo. The one-sided nature of the match gave trialist goalkeeper Alistair Bray very few opportunities to show off his ability.

Kevin Muscat’s side raced out of the blocks and took the lead after just seven minutes. Port Melbourne goalkeeper Luke Gavalas turned the ball over with a poor touch, gifting an opportunity to Mitch Austin, who made no mistake from the edge of the area.

Victory continued to hold the ascendancy and made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute. Fahid Ben Khalfallah's pinpoint cross from the left made it easy for an unmarked Jai Ingham to head home at the far post. 

Spaniard Alan Baro impressed in a holding midfield role before making way for Anthony Duzel at half-time. His composure on the ball in the middle will give Kevin Muscat plenty to ponder ahead of the new Hyundai A-League season.

Oliver Bozanic was also introduced at half-time and immediately made his presence felt on the scoresheet with the goal of the match. After beating a Port Melbourne defender with a lovely turn, Bozanic then chipped Gavalas with precision from a tight angle in the 49th minute.

Just four minutes later, Bozanic was involved in Victory's fourth. Played in behind Port's defence, Bozanic eased the ball past Gavalas for Berisha to tap it into an empty net. 

Victory's fifth came from a beautiful passage of play in the 67th minute. Half-time substitute Christian Theoharous played a great ball to Bozanic, who then delivered a perfect cross for George Howard to poke home from point-blank range. Howard had entered the match just five minutes prior, replacing Berisha.

Theoharous impressed immensely during his second-half shift, continuing the recent trend of Victory youngsters stepping up and performing well in the senior team. He found himself on the scoresheet in the 86th minute, cooly sliding the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper to register Victory's sixth.

Victory now turns its attention to the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 draw, which will be held on Wednesday, August 10.

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Port Melbourne 0
Melbourne Victory 6 
(Mitch Austin 7', Jai Ingham 23', Oliver Bozanic 49', Besart Berisha 53', George Howard 67', Christian Theoharous 86')