NYL: Cristaldo hat-trick inspires big win

Melbourne Victory put in a terrific team performance on warm Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Stadium to defeat the Central Coast Mariners in the Foxtel National Youth League.

Melbourne Victory put in a terrific team performance on warm Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Stadium to defeat the Central Coast Mariners in the Foxtel National Youth League.

Victory was switched on and relentless with their attacks which proved too much for the young Mariners side.

Melbourne Victory started the match with attacking flair; as Connor Pain created a great run and crossed to Christopher Cristaldo who shot the ball over the top of the crossbar.

Jesse Makarounas showed plenty of skill when he got past the defence and curled a shot just over the goalpost.

Shortly afterwards Francesco Stella weaved through the defence and passed it to Cristaldo who slotted the ball into the back of the net. Victory's attack continued when Cristaldo capitalised on a bad backpass and beat the fumbling 'keeper and scored his hat-trick.

Not long after, Makarounas set up Pain beautifully in the box but Pain hit it straight into a desperate defender. Pain and Stella both had chances late in the half but couldn-t beat the 'keeper.

The second half got under way with Victory looking promising and confident. Pain crafted a probing ball through to Makarounas who belted in past the keeper.

Victory made a triple substitution on the hour mark with more opportunities given to the younger strikers and midfielders to make an impression.

It wasn't long before Pain had another excellent opportunity to score but his right footed attempt went straight at Tonu Liibrand.

Jason Geria played a great ball to Damien Miskulin in the box with but he sprayed it wide. Anthony Proia looked solid in creating chances but lacked the finish to convert.

Central Coast, to their credit, continued to attack but kept falling short with wide chances and solid defending by Victory.

Melbourne Victory looked very impressive with plenty of attacking options and opportunities created. Cristaldo was clinical in front of goals while Pain was hard working and damaging as always on the run towards goal. They will be happy to come away with the win and get more game time into the legs of younger players on the list.

The result also cements their spot in the top three of the Youth League standings.

Melbourne Victory: 5 (Christopher Cristaldo 20-, 33-, 40-, Makarounas 50-, 90+2') Central Coast Mariners: 2 (Josh Bingham 11-, 32 (P)-)

Melbourne Victory 1 Keegan Coulter (GK), 3 Milos Ridiesic, 4 James Karvelis (Damien Miskulin 60-), 5 Dyalan Murname, 6 Jordan Brown, 7 Christopher Cristaldo (Anthony Proia 60-), 8 Luc Jeggo (C), 9 Jesse Makarounas, 11 Connor Pain, 15 Jason Geria, 18 Francesco Stella (12 Anthony Duzel 60-) Unused subs: 20 Gian Tapia (GK)

Central Coast Mariners: 4 Matt Sim, 5 Liam Odell (2 Jacob Esposito 46-), 6 Jesse Curran, 7 Dillion Vorster (14 Steve Whyte 57-), 8 Glen Trifiro, 9 Patrick Dixon, 10 Dominic Ferguson, 11 Josh Bingham (C), 12 Tonu Liibrand (GK), 13 Hayden Morton, 15 Tom Slater (16 Daniel McFarlane 60-) Unused subs: 1 David Bradasevic (GK),

Yellow Card: Bingham (87-) Red Card: None