Victory stop the rot

Melbourne Victory have put a tough week behind them to register a gritty 2-1 win over a 10-man Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Melbourne Victory have put a tough week behind them to register a gritty 2-1 win over a 10-man Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Just 24 hours after sacking coach Mehmet Durakovic, Victory produced yet another solid home performance to end a three-match losing streak and give caretaker coach Kevin Muscat a 100 percent winning record before the incoming Jim Magilton takes over next week.

And it was Jets defender Byun Sung-Hwan that the hosts had to thank, with the Korean picking up an unlikely brace of own goals to help Victory to the three points.

Hwan scored an own goal in each half, while Jets skipper Ryan Griffiths netted a late consolation for the visitors who had to play the majority of the second half without defender Tarek Elrich.

Elrich was shown a straight red eight minutes into the second half for denying Victory striker Danny Allsopp a clear goal scoring opportunity and the Jets failed to recover from the dismissal, despite Griffiths' late strike.

Griffiths could have given the Jets the lead after just 90 seconds when he met Labinot Haliti's cross from the left only to shoot tamely at Victory keeper Ante Covic.

That sprung Victory into gear and the opening goal came after seven minutes when Byun put the ball into his own net when under immense pressure from Allsopp.

Harry Kewell, who provided a constant threat down the left all night, put a teasing ball into the middle of the box that Allsopp missed but Byun angled past Ben Kennedy and into the back of the net.

It was Kewell who had the next chance when he produced some nifty footwork on the edge of the box, only for Tiago Calvano to make a timely intervention with the Victory star bearing down on goal.

The Jets did have some attacking forays of their own, with Jeremy Brockie forcing Covic into a save at the near post with a powerful header and Haliti shot straight at the keeper moments later when he rushed his shot.

Thompson almost made it 2-0 on 25 minutes when he ghosted in from the left, snuck past Tiago on the edge of the box but could only watch his delightful swinging strike crash into the post.

A downpour of rain at the break didn't dampen the attacking instincts of both sides early in the second half, with the unlikely head of Leigh Broxham going close to adding a second for Victory from a Carlos Hernandez corner as the hosts continued to push forward.

The game was turned on its head moments later when Elrich received his marching orders for taking out Allsopp's legs just outside the box with the Victory striker bearing down on goal and with only the keeper to beat.

Elrich could have no complaints with the decision and Jets coach Gary van Egmond responded by introducing Michael Bridges and Mario Simic off the bench to try and spark the visitors into action.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Jets did respond as the hosts went into their shell and seemed happy with their one goal lead.

However, Victory continued to look dangerous on the counter attack and the Jets had Kennedy to thank for keeping it at 1-0 when he made a great save from a Thompson header at the near post after an excellent cross from the right by Allsopp.

And Victory made sure the points were safe when they doubled their advantage with 15 minutes remaining courtesy of the fleet-footed Thompson.

Thompson ran on to a Hernandez through ball and looked destined to score, but the Victory striker tried to find Kewell at the back post only for Byun to once again guide the ball past Kennedy and into the back of the net.

That looked to be game over, but the Jets received a lifeline with five minutes remaining when Griffiths floated in at the back post and shot past Covic to make it 2-1.

The visitors threw more men forward in search of a late equaliser, but the experienced heads at Victory held on to the ball for long periods to ensure the points were safe.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Byun 7og, 74og) Newcastle Jets 1 (Griffiths 85) Crowd: 14,897 at AAMI Park