Victory grab first win

A Robbie Kruse goal has secured Melbourne Victory their first win of the 2010-11 season as the visitors put on a fine defensive performance to down Gold Coast United 1-0 at Skilled Park.

A Robbie Kruse goal has secured Melbourne Victory their first win of the 2010-11 season as the visitors put on a fine defensive performance to down Gold Coast United 1-0 at Skilled Park.

A magnificent pass from Carlos Hernandez set Kruse through for his first goal of the year in just the 19th minute. The young striker rounded the keeper and slotted the goal from a tight angle. From that point on, Victory controlled the game, allowing few chances for the home side and collecting the three points comfortably.

Grant Brebner returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Tom Pondeljak and was his typically reliable self, anchoring a dominant midfield performance, while Kevin Muscat, Rody Vargas and Adrian Leijer all had good days in the middle of defence.

But it was Hernandez who was the star of the show, putting on his best performance of the season so far and creating plenty of excellent chances, which his team-mates were probably guilty of not converting.

Melbourne had Gold Coast's defence on the back foot from the outset and created plenty of pressure inside the first 15 minutes. A series of half chances yielded nothing concrete until 19 minutes in when the Costa Rican found himself in space.

He beat Michael Thwaite to the ball and hit a perfectly-weighted ball for Kruse, who took it past Glen Moss with his first touch and then did well to knock the ball home.

Soon after, young Gold Coast strike pair James Brown and Golgol Mebrahtu were both guilty of missing good first-half chances before Jason Culina produced a stinging half-volley which prompted a superb diving save from Michael Petkovic.

Late in the half, Hernandez hit a powerful free kick inches over the bar, while Evan Berger departed the field for Diogo Ferreira with what looked like a hamstring injury,

The second stanza was a much-more defensive affair, with Melbourne controlling most of the possession. Adrian Leijer had a couple of chances to score from corners, while Leigh Broxham had a close range opportunity but chested wide.

Gold Coast's best chances of an equaliser came from long-range efforts, with Adama Traore and Andrew Barisic firing at goal late in the game. Traore's bullet was stopped by Brebner's head while Barisic's effort went straight at Petkovic.

Hernandez deserved a goal for his efforts and late in the game created a couple of good chances. They didn-t result in goals, but did help Melbourne hold sway for a vital success, while keeping Gold Coast winless.

Gold Coast United 0 Melbourne Victory 1 (Kruse 19) At Skilled Park