Victory Youth win again

Melbourne Victory have moved to within one point of the top four in the National Youth League after a Nathan Elasi brace saw them claim an impressive 2-0 victory over Adelaide United at the Veneto Club in Melbourne on Sunday.

Melbourne Victory have moved to within one point of the top four in the National Youth League after a Nathan Elasi brace saw them claim an impressive 2-0 victory over Adelaide United at the Veneto Club in Melbourne on Sunday.

Melbourne has now won its past two matches after starting the season without a victory from its first four outings.

An unmarked Elasi broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when he headed a pinpoint cross from captain Aziz Behich, who finally broke free from the clutches of the domineering Daniel Mullen down the left, into the back of the net.

And Elasi put the result beyond doubt 16 minutes into the second half when he danced around Adelaide-s advancing goalkeeper Mark Birighitti before completing the simplest of tasks in putting the ball into an unguarded net.

However, credit must also be given to Victory shot-stopper Mitch Langerak who was impregnable between the posts.

Adelaide duo Perry Mitris and Inseob Shin were the standouts for the visitors but their creativity down the left and up the middle respectively largely went unrewarded.

While the Reds were a much more dangerous outfit in the second half, they produced too many misguided crosses - particularly in the first 45 minutes - which either sailed out of play or missed their targets.

Coach Joe Mullen would also have been frustrated by the high amount of low-percentage attempts on goal which gave Langerak minimal trouble of dealing with.

Ultimately, the Victory were much more threatening going forward.

Melbourne dominated the first 25 minutes with Elasi and Bradley Norton both coming close to scoring the opener.

But Adelaide responded and bucked the trend to create a few chances of its own - the best of which saw Mitris run forward in the 26th minute and put the ball in the back of the net, only for the move to be deemed offside.

The Victory were rightly rewarded for their dominance six minutes later when Behich found Elasi who gave the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Adelaide made the better start to the second stanza with Mitris and Inseob Shin creating half-chances but Elasi punished their inability to convert in the 61st minute.

Half-time substitute Craig Sweeney chipped it over to Elasi who beat the off-side trap and managed to get the ball past an advancing Birighitti before tapping the ball in for one of the easier goals of his career.

Adelaide came close to getting on the scoreboard nine minutes later when Alex Sunasky speared it in from the right of the penalty area into Melbourne defender Matthew Foschini.

Foschini-s attempt to clear almost saw the ball, which had extra pace on it, land in his own goal if not for the quick thinking of Langerak who cleared it brilliantly.

And from the ensuing corner, Daniel Mullen had a clear header on goal but Langerak was once again up to the task with a desperate, lunging save.

At the other end of the ground, Elasi had two huge chances in stoppage time to nab a hat-trick.

One saw him lose a one-on-one battle with Birighitti who superbly kicked away a close-range strike and seconds later Elasi cannoned the ball into the crossbar to be denied once more.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Elasi 32, 61) Adelaide United 0 @ Veneto Club, Melbourne