Melbourne Victory returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win over North Geelong Warriors away at Elcho Park.
North Geelong dominated possession and had the better of the chances in the first 20 minutes until Rahmat Akbari, who had just been down on the turf clutching his shin, calmly slotted the ball home to take the lead.
The run of play however continued to flow the way of the home side. Captain Benjamin Carrigan was solid in defence as always while Branko Skocic repelled any shot that came out him, producing some wonderful saves to maintain the lead into half time.
North Geelong continued their superiority on the ball in the second half, peppering the goals but for no reward. The Victory defence held strong, with Daniel Aye one to impress, while Thierry Iradukunda threw himself into every challenge.
Brandon Lauton received a caution in the 73rd minute before Skocic pulled off an outstanding save with his right foot. The Victory goalkeepers’ performance cannot be overstated as he dealt with every opportunity North Geelong had to level the score.
The inclusion of Matthew Bozinovski late in the game added an extra layer to Victory’s efforts, as he lunged in to provide a last ditch tackle on a North Geelong attack.
The Warriors continued to push forward but couldn’t find the back of the net as Victory ran out 1-0 winners.
NPL2 West 2019 Round 8
North Geelong 0
Melbourne Victory 1 (Rahmat Akbari 21’)
Melbourne Victory: Branko Skocic (gk); Daniel Aye (Matthew Bozinovski), Aaron Anderson, Benjamin Carrigan (c), Aydin Mustedanagic; Thierry Iradukunda; Stefan Ristic, Rahmat Akbari (Jack Morton), Brandon Lauton; Jack Palazzolo, Yazid Said (Liston Diaz).
Victory’s Under 20s suffered a 1-0 loss to the North Geelong Under 20s side.
Melbourne Victory travel to CB Smith Reserve to take on Moreland Zebras at 3pm on Saturday.