Victory Youth destroy Roar

A second-half masterclass from Melbourne has seen the Victory record a 6-1 thrashing of Brisbane Roar in a highly entertaining National Youth League encounter at Epping Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A second-half masterclass from Melbourne has seen the Victory record a 6-1 thrashing of Brisbane Roar in a highly entertaining National Youth League encounter at Epping Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

After falling behind through a Luke Bratten penalty, Craig Sweeney equalized for the Victory before five goals in the second half sealed the win. Mate Dugandzic and substitute David Stirton scored two each, while defender Diogo Ferreira also got on the scoresheet.

Few would have predicted the end scoreline after Brisbane started the match the better and could have had the ball in the back of net on a number of times.

After a period of sustained pressure, which included a thunderbolt from Mitch Nichols that grazed the crossbar, the Roar finally broke through for the opening goal in the 34th minute via a penalty kick.

A powerful freekick from Bratten was parried clear by Victory keeper Sebastian Mattei, but Isaka Cernak recovered the ball close to the touch line and wriggled his way into the box.

Melbourne defenders Ferreira and Stephen Hatzikostas both dived in to try and halt the Roar midfielder's run, with referee Alex Azcurra having little hesitation in awarding the spot kick.

Bratten dispatched it into the bottom left corner, but was forced to retake it after his team-mates entered the box. He made no mistake second time round to give the visitors a well-deserved lead.

Just minutes later Stefan Vrbesic had two glorious chances to double the Roar's lead, but on both instances his powerful shots were well saved by Mattei.

The end-to-end action continued and the Victory found themselves back on level terms in the 39th minute. A sloppy clearance presented Nathan Elasi with a chance to run at the defence and he drew a defender to him before sliding a perfect through ball to Sweeney, who calmly slotted past the on-rushing Matthew Action in the Brisbane goal.

The Roar had a couple of chances to retake the lead in stoppage time, but Joshua McVey and Cernak both shot wide.

The Victory quickly grabbed the lead three minutes after the break when Dugandzic reacted quickest to a rebound to fire home. He was played through on goal by Sweeney but had his initial shot saved by Action before scoring at the second attempt.

Minutes later, Elasi produced a wonderful effort that hit the upright, but the home fans didn't have to wait too long for another goal with Stirton scoring his first goal for the club with his first touch of the game. He rose highest to head home a wonderful freekick from Aziz Behich in the 58th minute.

Stirton put the game beyond doubt in the 75th minute when he found the back of net from a tight angle. Behich was again the provider after he had his initial shot blocked before laying it off to Stirton, who fired home to give his side a 4-1 lead.

Behich was the architect of the fifth goal as well with his low cross diverted past Action by defender Ferreira in the 86th minute.

There was still time for another goal with Behich once again in the thick of it. After beating the last defender, he was through on goal but his shot was parried away by Action, only for Dugandzic to calmly slot the ball into the empty net to round off the scoring.

Melbourne Victory 6 (Sweeney 39, Dugandzic 48, 88, Stirton 58, 75, Ferreira 86) Brisbane Roar 1 (Stratten 34p)