Melbourne Victory’s Foxtel National Youth League side have taken all three points in a dominant performance over a 9-man Newcastle Jets side at AAMI Park on Saturday.
Melbourne Victory 4 (Nabbout 8', Howard 13’, 67', Cristaldo 27’(p))
Melbourne City 1 (Pavicevic 72’ (p))
Attendance: 2,371 at AAMI Park
Playing as the curtain raiser for the Hyundai A-League clash between the two sides, a good crowd arrived early to catch the Youth League rising stars in action.
It was Victory who started off strongly, controlling possession from the outset and it didn’t take long for the first opportunity to arise for the hosts, with Christopher Cristaldo putting in a tempting cross from out wide, but unfortunately no-one was inside the penalty box to meet it.
Victory continued to dominate the possession stats and opened the scoring in the eighth minute, after a quick throw-in from Cristaldo found Andrew Nabbout, who easily rounded the ‘keeper to slot home the opening goal.
The home side almost doubled the lead two minutes later, Cristaldo breaking through at pace, before putting in a cutback for Anthony Duzel, but there wasn’t enough on the pass and Newcastle were able to clear.
Nabbout and Cristaldo continued to dominate the game with their pace, and it was in the 14th minute when Nabbout made a great run forward into the penalty box, before finding an open George Howard, who was on hand to calmly tap in for Victory’s second.
Victory’s ‘keeper, Lucas Spinella, was called in to action in the 25th minute, pulling off a brilliant save after Jets’ skipper Nicholas Cowburn put in a powerful shot.
After the save, Victory broke quickly down the other end after a brilliant through ball from Nabbout, found Cristaldo one-on-one with the ‘keeper.
Jets defender Michael Finlayson took down Cristaldo once he was through, leaving the referee with no choice but to issue the red card and point to the spot for the penalty. Cristaldo sent his side 3-0 up after 28 minutes, with a powerful penalty in to the bottom right corner of the net.
As the match went on, Victory continued to assert its dominance and made the most of the numerical advantage, controlling possession and creating chances regularly.
Howard netted his brace after 67 minutes, after a storming run down the right hand side with a cool finish leaving the Jets ‘keeper with no chance and giving Victory a four goal buffer.
The Jets were able to pull one back shortly after, following a handball in the area, leaving Pavicevic to convert his penalty to bring it back to 4-1.
The red card again came out for the Jets for another last-man challenge in the 88th minute just outside the area. The resultant free-kick hit the crossbar.
Victory were unable to find the back of the net with their two man advantage in the final few minutes.
Victory Team – Starting XI: Jordan Brown, Christian Cavallo, Christopher Cristaldo ©, Thomas Deng, Anthony Duzel, Brendan Gonano, George Howard, Jordan O’Doherty, Milos Ridesic, Lucas Spinella (GK).
Newcastle Team – Starting XI: Nicholas Cowburn ©, Michael Finlayson, Benjamin Hay, Roman Hofmann, Brandon Lundy, Reece Papadimtrios, Radovan Pavicevic, Andrew Pawiak, John Solari (GK), Steve Whyte