Victory break hoodoo

Melbourne Victory has smashed its Western Australian hoodoo thanks to another star performance from Costa Rican midfielder Carlos Hernandez on Sunday night.

Melbourne Victory has smashed its Western Australian hoodoo thanks to another star performance from Costa Rican midfielder Carlos Hernandez on Sunday night.

The Victory scored a 2-1 win over Perth Glory with Hernandez involved in both goals as the reigning Hyundai A-League champions scored their first home and away win at Members' Equity Stadium for three and a half years.

And the win gives Melbourne a four point buffer in second place ahead of Gold Coast - at the virtual halfway mark of the season - as well as keeping the Victory just a point behind league leaders Sydney, which beat Wellington 3-1 in the other Sunday game just before Melbourne's clash kicked-off in Perth.

Melbourne went into the game on the back of five wins in its past six matches but also knowing it had lost its past four regular season games in Perth, including a 2-1 loss earlier this season in late August.

These two teams usually produce high-scoring matches - indeed there had been a total of 23 goals scored in their past six meetings - and considering Melbourne had kept just two clean sheets all season and Perth just three it was hardly surprising when both sides scored in the opening 20 minutes.

With Rody Vargas returning to the centre of defence in place of the injured Surat Sukha - in the only change from last week's 3-1 win over Adelaide - Melbourne started brightly and took the lead on six minutes.

The in-form Hernandez was surprisingly given plenty of space by the Perth defence, which stood off the Costa Rican star as he surged into the penalty box, and as Hernandez got his shot away it took a wicked deflection off experienced Perth defender Chris Coyne leaving Perth keeper Tando Velaphi helplessly stranded.

However Melbourne's lead did not last long as Perth equalised on 19 minutes thanks to a piece of sheer brilliance from Socceroos' veteran Mile Sterjovski.

The Perth striker, returning to the side following injury, received a great pass from Jamie Coyne with his back to goal but quick as a flash was able to turn onto his right foot, despite the presence of Melbourne skipper Kevin Muscat, and smash a superb shot across Victory keeper Glen Moss and into the far corner to level the scores at 1-1.

Perth dominated the rest of the half and would have gone ahead in the 43rd minute if not for a great save at point-blank range by Moss to deny Perth's Eugene Dadi and ensure Melbourne went in at half-time on level terms.

But the reigning Hyundai A-League champions were a different side after the break.

Melbourne dominated possession - 59 to 41 percent - in the opening ten minutes of the second half and the Victory's dominance nearly paid off in the 65th minute when substitute Nathan Elasi had a great chance to score with virtually his first touch - having only replaced Mate Dugandzic a minute earlier - after being set up by Archie Thompson.

But Elasi did not let that miss bother him and just two minutes later - after receiving a great ball down the right hand side from Thompson, who was every bit as effective as Hernandez, produced a superb cross which Hernandez poked home into an empty net at full stretch at the far post as Melbourne regained the lead.

And while Perth again pressed hard for the equaliser, Melbourne never looked in any danger of surrendering the lead for the second time and indeed could have made the game safe late on as both Elasi and fellow substitute Matthew Foschini wasted good chances as Melbourne thoroughly deserved to record its first home and away win in Perth since September, 2006.

Melbourne Victory: 2 (C Coyne own goal 6, Hernandez 67) Perth Glory: 1 (Sterjovski 19)

Crowd: 10,035 at Members Equity Stadium