NPL report: Bulleen 1-6 Victory

Melbourne Victory produced a strong performance in a 6-1 win over the Bulleen Lions in the NPL2 West on Monday.

Summary

Jack Palazzolo, 18, scored his second hat-trick in as many games as Victory dominated at.

Rahmat Akbari struck an early brace and Yazid Said was also on the scoresheet for a Victory side which led 3-0 at half-time.

Daniel MacLennan pulled a goal back for Bulleen during the second half, but Victory secured a second straight win.

Victory made a flying start and struck twice in the opening nine minutes through Akbari.

The 18-year-old attacker drilled in a 25-yard strike to open the scoring before later bursting into the area and finding the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

Victory dominated the first half as Palazzolo, Said and Akbari all had opportunities before the visitor scored again.

Said was denied by a last-ditch challenge in the area and the ball fell to Palazzolo, who picked out the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the season.

Birkan Kirdar and Said had further chances before half-time as Victory took a 3-0 lead into the break.

The chances continued to flow to begin the second half as Said hit the post before Palazzolo completed his brace, firing into the bottom corner after a pass from Akbari.

Said got on the scoresheet in the 54th minute – moments after a save from Victory goalkeeper Matthew Sutton – finishing off a Kirdar pass following a counter-attack.

Both teams continued to attack and Bulleen managed to pull one back when MacLennan scrambled in.

There were further opportunities for both sides and Palazzolo completed his hat-trick with a powerful finish past Bulleen goalkeeper Wyatt Chant following a pass from Thierry Iradukunda.

Head coach Gareth Naven's post-match thoughts

"The performance of our team, I thought we were strong in our attitude, strong in regards to moving the ball quickly if we couldn't play forward and strong together as a team. We've created a situation where we want to make sure we do that more often and I think it's showing the young players the importance of a collective attitude in our approach to a performance is what we're searching for week in, week out, and if we can do that more times and we want to and we need to do it more times, I know they're going to enjoy their football and the team is going to enjoy their football."

NPL2 West 2019 Round 6
Bulleen Lions 1
(Daniel MacLennan 63')
Melbourne Victory 6 (Rahmat Akbari 4'/9', Jack Palazzolo 37'/48'/80', Yazid Said 54')

Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton (gk); Brandon Lauton (Liston Diaz), Aaron Anderson, Benjamin Carrigan (c), Aydin Mustedanagic; Thierry Iradukunda; Stefan Ristic, Birkan Kirdar, Rahmat Akbari (Daniel Aye); Jack Palazzolo, Yazid Said.

Under-20s

Victory's under-20s suffered their second loss of the season, beaten 3-1 by Bulleen Lions.