Victory leave it until death for Rojas killer goal
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.
Besart Berisha of the Victory celebrates his goal during the Round 3 A-League match against Adelaide United in Adelaide last night