Bruno and Zizou too good again as Victory send Socceroo off in style by going top of the table
Goals from Zinedine Machach and Bruno Fornaroli have fired Melbourne Victory to a 2-0 ‘Original Rivalry’ win over Adelaide United and ensured they will end the year atop the A-League Men table.
Able to vault Wellington and move into sole possession of first place by securing three points at AAMI Park on Saturday night, a series of sharp saves from Reds keeper Joe Gauci and some wayward finishing had the hosts on track for a disappointing draw heading into the final 20 minutes.
But a driving run from Nishan Velupillay in the 73rd minute, in which he rounded both Javi Lopez and Ryan Tunnicliffe before cutting the ball back, set Machach up to finish first time and fire Victory ahead.
A headed effort from Damien Da Silva almost made it 2-0 immediately after Machach’s opener but Fornaroli, playing in his final game before he departs to represent Australia at the Asian Cup, eventually sealed the result in the 90th minute.
The Uruguayan-born Socceroo leaves for Qatar with 13 goals in just ten ALM games.
Victory had been pushing to find the breakthrough in the exchanges before Machach’s opener, taking control of the game as Jake Brimmer, Fornaroli, and Connor Chapman all fired goalward.
It followed an opening stanza in which Roderick Miranda and Daniel Arzani had come agonisingly close to opening the scoring and Fornaroli a goal disallowed for offside.
Adelaide began to show greater urgency as they pushed for a leveller but were hampered all game by an inability to turn promising field position into clear chances.
Instead, the majority of the South Australian’s shots throughout the evening were of the long-range, speculative variety.
Luka Jovanovic broke in transition in the 18th minute to produce one of their few penalty area attempts, but his shot was struck straight at Paul Izzo.