NPL report: Victory 4-0 Ballarat

Melbourne Victory made a perfect start to the NPL2 West season, beating Ballarat City 4-0 at Epping Stadium on Sunday.

Summary

Yazid Said scored a brace to go with goals from Jack Palazzolo and Liston Diaz as Victory claimed a dominant win.

The host also squandered numerous chances, but it capitalised on a strong performance to grab three points.

Victory made a good start and it opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Palazzolo.

Brandon Lauton was released in space down the right and crossed for Palazzolo to head through the hands of Ballarat goalkeeper Ryan Schorback.

Victory had numerous chances throughout the first half, with Said shooting wide from a Rahmat Akbari cutback and the latter blazing over from inside the area.

The busy Birkan Kirdar then put in Palazzolo, but the 18-year-old forward fired straight at Schorback in a one-on-one.

Victory doubled its lead early in the second half through Said.

A lovely team move saw Lauton play in the 19-year-old forward, who finished in a one-on-one with Schorback.

Victory continued to create multiple chances and it was Said who struck again in the 71st minute.

After good work from Thierry Iradukunda, Diaz played a pass to Kirdar, who found Said to finish clinically into the bottom corner.

The win was sealed in additional time, Lauton releasing Said who unselfishly squared a pass for Diaz to tap in.

Head coach Gareth Naven's post-match thoughts

"It's always a good way to start Round 1 for the players in regards to scoring goals and putting in a good performance. Our last game was probably a month ago so happy for the way the team and the squad have trained this week and obviously got on the pitch and done their best, worked really hard so really happy for the team and it's important we try and repeat it next week as well."

NPL2 West 2019 Round 1
Melbourne Victory 4 (Jack Palazzolo 14', Yazid Said 49'/71', Liston Diaz 90+1')
Ballarat City 0

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

Under-20s

Victory's under-20s started the season with a 9-1 win over Ballarat City.