Victory rebound in style

Melbourne Victory has bounced back superbly from its disappointing loss to Central Coast, going to the top of the ladder after continuing its excellent away record in 2009/10 with a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.

Melbourne Victory has bounced back superbly from its disappointing loss to Central Coast, going to the top of the ladder after continuing its excellent away record in 2009/10 with a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.

Archie Thompson's sixth goal of the season in the eighth minute sealed all three points in front of 9904 fans at Suncorp Stadium, the triumph being the sixth of the campaign from seven starts on the road for Victory, which moves two points clear of Sydney FC ahead of its clash in Perth on Sunday.

The visitors enjoyed much of the possession in the opening 10 minutes, a period in which they grabbed the lead but the goal sparked the Roar into action, the hosts having much of the ball for the remainder of the half.

Brisbane broke down in its front third and Victory's defence got back in numbers as it seemed content to trouble its opponent on the counter and the pattern continued for much of the second half before Henrique was red-carded with minutes remaining.

Victory made several changes to the team that went down to the Mariners, including goalkeeper Mitch Langerak, Nick Ward, Evan Berger and Robbie Kruse at the expense of Glen Moss, Mate Dugandzic, Leigh Broxham and Sutee Suksomkit, who all dropped back to the bench.

There was action aplenty in the opening five minutes as both teams spurned chances, Thompson put into space by Kevin Muscat's long ball but Griffin McMaster doing enough to block his shot before a minute later Charlie Miller's weak effoert was easily taken by Langerak.

Victory didn't have to wait long to open the scoring though, with Andrew Packer conceding a free kick for a foul on former team-mate Robbie Kruse and then compounding it when Muscat took the kick quickly and caught the defence napping.

With Packer not alert to the danger as the ball bounced into the area Thompson's diving header found its way through a stranded McMaster's legs to give the visitors the lead.

Danny Tiatto then failed to connect as he'd have liked as Matt McKay blasted well over the top in the 12th minute before Muscat tripped Miller at the front of the box, although Miller's free kick was blocked by his fellow Scotsman Grant Brebner.

Mitch Nicholls used his pace to test Victory's defence on a couple of occasions while Packer went into the book in the 38th minute for tugging Kruse back before moments later, Matthew Kemp's cross found Berger but McMaster blocked his attempt.

A free kick from McKay rebounded off Brebner and almost went in before Tiatto blasted a stinging left-foot shot that went straight at Langerak who punched it away. The final act of the first half was David Dodd's yellow card for a foul on Adrian Leijer.

Dugandzic came on at the break for Kruse, with Henrique and Tommy Oar replacing Nichols and Tiatto for Roar, who almost equalised in the opening seconds after the resumption, Miller firing his shot for the corner but denied by an alert Langerak.

Langerak also denied Sergio Van Dijk in the 56th minute before Berger shot wide just before the hour mark as Broxham was introduced for Ward before further changes from both sides with 22 minutes left, Suksomkit on for Hernandez just after Josh McCloughan replaced Packer.

Brisbane found the back of the net from a corner with 17 minutes left, McCloughan heading home, but referee Ben Williams didn't allow it to stand, instead ruling that Langerak had been fouled by Craig Moore.

The Roar continued to attack but despite throwing everything at Victory, couldn't breach the defence and then went down to 10 men with minutes left when a falling Henrique elected to catch a Dugandzic long ball that would otherwise have found Thompson all alone 40m from goal.

Brisbane Roar 0 Melbourne Victory 1 (Thompson 8)