Vic­tory leave it un­til death for Ro­jas killer goal

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

AN in­jury-time win­ner from Marco Ro­jas has given Mel­bourne Vic­tory a last-gasp 2-1 A-League vic­tory over Ade­laide United at Coop­ers Sta­dium last night.

The Reds struck the up­right twice in the dy­ing min­utes when the score was locked at 1-1 be­fore Ro­jas popped up in the 93rd minute to snatch vic­tory for the vis­i­tors.

Ade­laide had en­joyed a bright start, with Span­ish striker Sergi Guardi­ola test­ing the palms of Vic­tory keeper Lawrence Thomas from 20m on seven min­utes.

Shortly af­ter, Reds winger Ryan Kitto burst down the right flank and played a square ball across the area that mid­fielder Jesse Makarounas smartly dum­mied, leav­ing Hen­rique to watch his shot saved by Thomas.

But it was the vis­i­tors who would break the dead­lock with a swiftly ex­e­cuted counter against the run of play.

Ro­jas tore down the right wing af­ter be­ing re­leased by Carl Va­leri and sup­plied a per­fect ball to Be­sart Ber­isha.

The Al­ba­nian striker was cool and com­posed as he took a touch, beat de­fender Dy­lan McGowan be­fore slot­ting his shot past Eugene Galekovic on 20 min­utes. The Reds con­tin­ued to push for­ward and went close twice more in the clos­ing stages of the first half.

Guardi­ola was the lucky re­cip­i­ent of a ric­o­cheted clear­ance and his left-foot ef­fort was pushed past the post by Thomas, who also kept out a close-range push from Kitto on the stroke of half­time.

Vic­tory pressed early in the sec­ond half and found some suc­cess in wide ar­eas, but crosses from Mitch Austin and Ja­son Ge­ria failed to trou­ble the Reds’ de­fence.

Ber­isha and Oliver Bozanic com­bined nicely on the edge of the area just af­ter the hour, but the lat­ter’s close-range ef­fort was swat­ted away by Galekovic. United equalised al­most im­me­di­ately thanks to a bril­liant curling shot from Tarek El­rich in the 68th minute. The full­back raced to a quickly taken free kick and turned in­side be­fore pick­ing out the top cor­ner with his left foot.

Chances flowed in the fi­nal stages and on 80 min­utes Ber­isha nearly put Vic­tory back in front af­ter a cheeky back-heel from a Daniel Ge­orgievski cross, but it trick­led wide.

Reds mid­fielder Isa­ias was next to try his luck but Thomas was again equal to the task, sav­ing the 25m free kick.

Then United sub­sti­tute Danny Choi was put through by Guardi­ola but his low, pow­er­ful drive hit the base of the post.

Guardi­ola rat­tled the up­right a minute later af­ter he shot on the turn from 10m.

Vic­tory had the fi­nal say, with Ro­jas knock­ing the ball home from 5m deep into stop­page time.

Pic­ture: MORNE DE KLERK/GETTY IM­AGES

Be­sart Ber­isha of the Vic­tory cel­e­brates his goal dur­ing the Round 3 A-League match against Ade­laide United in Ade­laide last night

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