Over the years, the A-League has been blessed with some weird and wonderful overseas managers. Who can forget the wacky dress sense of František…
Melbourne Victory have seen off Macarthur to secure a 4-1 win that keeps them alive in the A-League Men premiership race.
After Craig Noone’s 56th-minute penalty halved a deficit delivered by Ben Folami and Jake Brimmer, the hosts threw everything into a frantic search for a leveller.
A cheeky backheel effort from Roderick Miranda in the 81st minute and Josh Brillante’s 94th-minute strike, however, dashed those hopes.
Now unbeaten in their last 12 league games, a club record, the result moved Victory to three points back of second-placed Western United, with both having played 23 games.
They are also just five back of top-of-the-table Melbourne City with a game in hand.
“With every result, we grow with confidence,” said Victory’s coach Tony Popovic.
“We are 12 undefeated, it’s another fantastic away win against a team that obviously has a lot to fight for.
“We should have scored more goals in the first half.
“So that’s an area that when we’re on top we have to improve but I think overall we deserve the three points.”
The Bulls’ finals chances, though, have been dealt a heavy blow.
Though clear of seventh-placed Sydney FC by a point, the loss ensured Ante Milicic’s outfit remain just two points clear of the eighth-placed Central Coast.
And in contrast to Sydney FC, who like Macarthur have played 24 matches, the Mariners have two games in hand.
“I can’t look further than Newcastle Jets next week,” Milicic said.
“We needed to pick up something against Western United and Melbourne Victory. Unfortunately, we didn’t.
“Now, we need to depend on others, which isn’t an ideal scenario.
“All we can do is recover well, re-focus, see how the boys pull up and go again next Sunday.”
Their margin halved by Noone three minutes after Brimmer’s 53rd-minute penalty, Victory were forced to sweat in the 64th as VAR ruled that Aleksandar Jovanovic’s equaliser was offside.
Yet despite the Bulls’ subsequent efforts, Miranda’s audaciously flicked goal off a Brimmer corner and Brillante’s deflected strike sealed the result.
Victory will now head straight to Queensland to take on Brisbane Roar on Monday afternoon, with defender Jason Davidson a chance to return from illness.
“It’s a really short turnaround,” Popovic said.
“I don’t quite understand how it’s at 2 o’clock on Monday but it’s another challenge.”