A-League wrap: High five for Victory, Phoenix sink Heart
By Football News
Victory jumped out to a three-goal lead at half-time against an undermanned Newcastle team with Marco Rojas and Adrian Leijer scoring the first two goals in the opening quarter of an hour.
A pair of Mark Milligan penalties either side of the break, plus Rojas' brilliant second goal, ensured Melbourne equalled their best result against the Jets, who had central defender Taylor Regan sent off in the second half.
Sunday's victory reaffirmed Victory's championship credentials, ending a three-game losing streak and sending them above Adelaide United and into third position in the A-League with 39 points.
Archie Thompson, who was making his return from injury, opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he controlled a loose ball in the centre circle and played a through ball down the middle to Rojas.
The 21-year-old New Zealander burst away from his marker and slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Melbourne skipper Leijer scored his first goal of the season seven minutes later, getting free from Regan to power his a corner home with his head.
Victory were in control and looked to have made it 3-0 soon after when Daniel Mullen headed a corner into the net but referee Jarred Gillett awarded a free-kick to Newcastle for off-the-ball contact from Milligan on Jets captain Ruben Zadkovich.
The disallowed goal seemed to halt Victory's momentum but after a couple of half-chances to Newcastle striker Adam Taggart, the home team made it 3-0 in the 29th minute thanks to Milligan's first penalty.
Ange Postecoglou's side leapt out of the blocks after the break, Milligan making it 4-0 after Regan conceded his second penalty of the match in the 56th minute. The Jets man received his marching orders for two yellow cards after he dragged down Mullen in the penalty area.
Rojas grabbed his second goal after the hour mark with a sublime piece of skill. Scott Galloway passed to the Kiwi attacker, who spun past two Jets defenders and then glided around Newcastle goalkeeper Mark Birighitti to tap the ball into the empty net.
In Sunday's other match, Wellington Phoenix ended a difficult week with a rare victory after downing Melbourne Heart 1-0 in Dunedin.
A 19th-minute Jeremy Brockie goal was enough to see off a lacklustre Heart outfit whose A-League playoff hopes took a hit thanks to their seventh successive defeat on the road.
Wellington, who had managed just five wins prior to this match at Forsyth Barr Stadium, finished the game with 10 men after Stein Huysegems, who came into the starting line-up for Louis Fenton, was sent off for a second bookable offence.