Geelong Advertiser , Monday 22 October 2007, p. 33.
Putting its off-field problems with star recruit Ljubo Milicevic behind it, Melbourne Victory pulled off a narrow two-one win against Perth Glory at Telstra Dome last night.
Skipper Kevin Muscat did not recover from his knee injury, so the midfield consisted of Grant Brebner, Carlos Hernandez, Leigh Broxham and Joe Keenan.
Young Sebastian Ryall took over from the injured Daniel Piorkowski in central defence.
Daniel Allsopp, playing his 50th game for the club in the A-League, was captain for the day.
Glory was very unlucky to lose a couple of late goals to Sydney in a three-all draw in the last round, but came out full of fire led by former Victorian and Socceroo Simon Colosimo.
Archie Thompson was denied a penalty in the 12th minute when a long ball forward by Grant Brebner enabled him to run in on goal only to be brought down by Jamie Coyne.
Referee Simon Przydacz was on the wrong angle to decide correctly unfortunately.
Victory took the lead in 26 minutes when Thompson and Hernandez exchanged passes down the right and the Costa Rican international Hernandez finished with the thunderous shot for his first A-League goal.
Thompson was taken out in the move but resumed after treatment.
Hernandez then set up Daniel Allsopp but the striker drove over the top.
Victory added to its tally from a Matthew Kemp corner in 33 minutes.
Rodrigo Vargas headed towards goal and Thompson got the final touch as the ball was entering the net, but the referee credited Vargas with the goal, which was justice done.
Two minutes before the interval Victory allowed Perth back into the game, when Nikolai Topor-Stanley easily beat Kemp and Perth’s Jamie Harnwell was unmarked in the goal area to head home.
In the second half, Perth took control of the game for long periods, forcing a sluggish Victory side to chase all over the field.
Allsopp had one shot deflected for a corner, while Jamie Harnwell, substitute Nick Rizzo and Jimmy Downie all tested Michael Theoklitos.
Both sides used their substitutes, with Victory having to replace another central defender when Ryall went down in his own penalty area. The youngster had to be stretchered away and things do not look good for him.
Somehow Victory clung on to its narrow lead, but the second half performance was not convincing, though the heat and humidity played its part.
The Perth Glory fans in the crowd of 25,598 made much of the noise as the visitor fought hard but ultimately unsuccessfully.