A double from Besart Berisha has helped return Melbourne Victory to the winners list, defeating Brisbane Roar 3-1 at Morshead Park in Ballarat.
It was Victory’s first competitive match since exiting the FFA Cup, and it started the game brightly.
Victory dominated territory and it was only a matter of time before the reward was found.
Matias Sanchez, playing his first minutes in Victory colours, found Besart Berisha with a delightful ball. Although Michael Theo was on hand for a quality save from Berisha’s first effort, the Victory captain for the evening made no mistake with the rebound to put his side ahead.
Just five minutes later Jai Ingham would double the lead, getting on the end of a wicked cross in from Mitch Austin.
The ball eluded Brisbane defenders and goalkeeper, leaving Ingham with the easiest of finishes at the back post.
Roar came into the game after the second goal, and it was Peter Skapetis who made the most of good fortune to halve the home side’s deficit.
A shot from range took a sizeable deflection, leaving Lawrence Thomas stranded as the ball looped over him and in off the underside of the crossbar.
Roar started the second half the better side, but Victory held firm, and it was that man Berisha who would put the game to bed.
Picking up a loose ball in space, the Victory striker rounded Theo and made no mistake with the finish.
Brisbane Roar 1 (Skapetis 31’)
Melbourne Victory 3 (Berisha 14’, 66’ Ingham 19’)
Brisbane Roar: Michael Theo, Luke Devere, Corey Brown, Massimo Maccarone, Brett Holman, Jade North, Matthew McKay, Joe Caletti, Jack Hingert, Shannon Brady, Peter Skapetis
Subs: Dane Ingham, Mitch Oxborrow, Jamie Young, Rahmat Akbari, Connor O’Toole, Nicholas D’Agostino, Aaron Reardon, Emilio Martinez
Melbourne Victory: Lawrence Thomas, Jason Geria, Rhys Williams, Leigh Broxham, Besart Berisha, Mitch Austin, Matias Sanchez, James Donachie, Josh Hope, Stefan Nigro, Jai Ingham
Subs: Matthew Acton, Thomas Deng, Pierce Waring, Christian Theoharous, Cameron McGilp, Nicholas Sette