Victory's tenacity reaps A-League rewards

Dec 3, 2017 - 4:33 PM Coach Kevin Muscat says Melbourne Victory's tenacity and persistence is finally paying dividends after a fighting 3-2 A-League win away to Wellington Phoenix at the weekend.

Two Andrija Kaludjerovic headers gave Wellington a 2-0 halftime lead, after Melbourne had one goal disallowed by the video assistant referee for offside and squandered a host of other chances.

But two goals in three minutes, one to Besart Berisha and the other a Goran Paracki own goal, levelled the scores until James Troisi provided the 86th minute winner.

The win, Melbourne's second of the season, boosts them from eighth on the ladder to sixth, just one point behind fifth-placed Adelaide, who they host next weekend at Etihad Stadium.

Muscat says Victory were rewarded for persevering with their attacking game.

"We were consistently on the front foot, consistently moving the ball forward, consistently asking questions of the opposition - not being safe, being brave," he said.

Victory kept running, Muscat said, and their eagerness and determination to get into goal-scoring position was rewarded.

"We had that many free kicks and dead ball situations around their box, and that's a result of getting in their last third, getting those fouls and winning those fouls," he said.

Both teams were missing key midfielders. Wellington were without former Victory player Gui Finkler after he was dropped for disciplinary reasons following a petulant reaction to being substituted a week earlier in the Phoenix's 4-1 loss to Central Coast.

Melbourne's Mark Milligan was also out, serving a one-match suspension after receiving a red card for retaliation in last week's loss to Newcastle Jets.

Milligan was probably more sorely missed, but Muscat was adamant his absence had sharpened Victory's focus, rather than changed their style of play.

"We persisted in what we know we're good at, the structure we know we're good at - it returned us tonight with a good performance and created some very good opportunities," he said.

Source: AAP

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