Victory takes top spot

Melbourne has surged to the top of the Hyundai A-League table with a 2-1 win over Queensland at Telstra Dome.

Melbourne has surged to the top of the Hyundai A-League table with a 2-1 win over Queensland at Telstra Dome.

All three goals came in the second half, with Danny Allsopp opening Melbourne's account on 55 minutes and Rody Vargas making it 2-0 on 67 minutes. The Roar found a reply from an unlikely source in Craig Moore seven minutes later but could not find an equaliser.

After recording back-to-back wins for the first time in two months, Melbourne is now on 29 points, one clear of Adelaide, which plays Sydney on Saturday. Queensland will be fourth regardless of what happens in the rest of the round, but could have just a one-point buffer over Wellington should the Phoenix defeat the Jets on Sunday.

A scoreless first 45 minutes was marked by plenty of half chances but few genuine threats on either goal. Sergio van Dijk had the first and probably best of them on nine minutes when some industrious work by Michael Zullo created an excellent headed chance from close range, but the Dutchman could only nod the ball over.

Archie Thompson did a similar thing soon after from a Carlos Hernandez cross setting the pattern for a half where Victory got into the box plenty of times but never really worried Liam Reddy. Hernandez hit a free kick straight at the keeper, while Allsopp managed only to trip over himself when put through by substitute Nick Ward, who had replaced Evan Berger after just 30 minutes.

Van Dijk was at the centre of most of the Roar's forward movements, but couldn't get a decent shot on Michael Theoklitos despite having plenty of sights of the goal.

Melbourne showed more enterprise early in the second half and were rewarded ten minutes in when Hernandez was given an acre of space and found Thompson on the edge of the box. The Victory striker ran hard to the by-line and his bullet-like cross proved easy pickings for Allsopp to knock in at the near post.

Two minutes later, Thompson had a chance to go himself, but one-on-one with Reddy he blazed over.

Frank Farina searched for a response bringing Tahj Minniecon on for Danny Tiatto on the hour and the youngster had an immediate impact when Seb Ryall was booked for holding him back. From the resultant free kick, van Dijk should have scored but headed wide from four meters out.

Melbourne then made the visitors pay from a similar situation up the other end. Andrew Packer was booked, Billy Celeski delivered the free kick and Vargas, totally unmarked, beat Reddy with a reverse header.

After Hernandez butchered an excellent chance for Melbourne, Queensland hit back when Matt McKay's perfect cross found Craig Moore straight in front. The skipper headed it home giving the visitors 16 minutes to snatch a draw.

Thompson's attempt to bury the game was thwarted by the post, then by Reddy and then by his own profligacy. However, it didn't cost Melbourne. In injury time, Mitch Nichols was brilliantly denied by Theoklitos, in the best of three late chances from the young Queenslander.

Ernie Merrick said after the game he would have preferred the win to be more comfortable but praised his players' resolve.

"We didn't get the third goal, but it was great to see the guys fight so hard to make sure we didn't give another goal away," he said.

Meanwhile, Frank Farina said silly errors had let his team down during the second half.

"It was disappointing not to come away with something, but that's the way the cookie crumbles," he said. "We made a couple of really schoolboy errors in that second half. You do that against a team like Melbourne and they punish you and they did."

Melbourne Victory 2 (Allsopp 55, Vargas 67) Queensland Roar 1 (Moore 74) Crowd: 23,447 at Telstra Dome