Victory claim pre-season clash

Melbourne Victory has kicked off its pre-season campaign in impressive style, with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over a combined Victorian Premier League team in a Football Federation Victoria Bushfire Appeal Match at Olympic Park Stadium on Tuesday night.

Melbourne Victory has kicked off its pre-season campaign in impressive style, with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over a combined Victorian Premier League team in a Football Federation Victoria Bushfire Appeal Match at Olympic Park Stadium on Tuesday night.

After a scoreless first half, Ney Fabiano opened the scoring in the 56th minute with an excellent header, before Nathan Elasi sealed the win for Victory with a goal in the 68th minute.

It took a while for Victory to settle into the game, with Mate Dugandzic and Hamlet Armenian impressive for the VPL side in an opening half that lacked chances.

But Victory started to take control of the match after the break as Fabiano leapt high to head home the opener, before the Brazilian set-up Elasi for the second goal some 12 minutes later.

Fabiano was ultra impressive for Victory all night, while youngster Mathew Theodore was another player who showed glimpses of his best form.

It was Melbourne's first match since the 1-0 win over Adelaide United in the 2009 Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

The event, which also featured a celebrity match as a curtain raiser, was organised to raise funds for those affected by the Black Saturday bushfires which claimed 173 lives on February 7, 2009.