Berisha wins 'mental battle' in Brisbane

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat believes star striker Besart Berisha overcame a mental battle to score the decisive goal in his side’s 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar.

Berisha returned to Suncorp Stadium for the first time on Wednesday night to devastating effect, doubling Victory’s first half advantage after Carl Valeri’s 17th minute opener.

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“I think he played the game two or three times in his mind to be honest,” Muscat said.

“I felt for him because he’s had to wait so long before coming back. He was a little bit on edge the last couple of days but in a positive way.

“Now that he’s got that one out of the way I expect him to be better on Saturday.”

While Valeri and Berisha starred with clinical strikes to seal a crucial three points for the visitors, Muscat paid tribute to his team’s defensive effort in repelling any Roar fightback.

“I thought we defended unbelievably well not to give them opportunities,” he said.

“The goal is offside as well so it’s another we’ve defended well, but unfortunately it was given and it made for an exciting finish again.”

Muscat’s men are now within three points of a third Hyundai A-League premiership which could be sealed against the reigning champions on the weekend.

“There’s still a hell of a lot of work to do,” the former Socceroo said.

“I thought we played really well tonight and got our just rewards. We stay up here now, recover well, and prepare for another good game on Saturday night.”