NPL wrap: Ranges too strong for Victory

Whittlesea Ranges defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1 in their Round 16 PlayStation 4 NPL2 West match on Saturday.

Pierce Waring opened the scoring for Victory in the 29th minute, before Anthony Cassar found an equaliser just seven minutes later. Ranges then took the lead shortly after half time through a Janiel Gomes Da Silva header, which proved to be the decisive goal.

Ranges started the game the stronger team, creating plenty of chances in the first 20 minutes of the game. Despite their best efforts, Jacob Colosimo and the rest of the Ranges strike force couldn’t find a way past Victory goalkeeper Stephen Hatzikourtis early on.

Against the run of play, it was Victory who found the net first thanks to some Pierce Waring magic. The exciting forward received the ball on the left and cut inside before placing his strike in the bottom right corner, past Ranges ‘keeper Luke Gavalas.

It only took seven minutes for Ranges to find an equaliser, Anthony Cassar was found unmarked in the area with the time and space to fire a low shot past Hatzikourtis from close range.

Like the first half, Ranges came out the stronger team in the early stages of the second period and it didn’t take long for the away side to find the lead. After winning a corner in the 51st minute, a swinging cross found Gomes Da Silva at the far post and Hatzikourtis was unable to keep the ball out despite getting a hand to it.

Thomas Barforosh had a golden chance to extend Ranges lead in the 78th minute, but failed to hit the target from close range after a brilliant pass from the right by Gomes Da Silva.

Ranges kept the pressure on Victory throughout the second half and despite a late push from the hosts, ran out comfortable winners.

Earlier in the day, Victory’s U20s played out an exciting 2-2 draw with Whittlesea.

Victory’s next PlayStation 4 NPL2 West match is away against league leaders Northcote City.

PlayStation 4 NPL2 West 2017 Round 16

Melbourne Victory 1 (Pierce Waring 29’)

Whittlesea Ranges 2 (Anthony Cassar 36’, Janiel Gomes Da Silva 50’)