Melbourne Victory’s winless run in the Hyundai A-League has extended to five games after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Perth Glory on Sunday.
Victory took a 1-0 lead to the break as Besart Berisha won – and then converted – a controversial penalty midway through the first half.
But the visitors responded 15 minutes from time with a penalty of their own, coolly slotted home by Diego Castro to ensure the spoils were shared in a ripping contest at AAMI Park.
1-0 Berisha (25’) – A swift Victory attack ended with Berisha chasing a ball into the box, getting to the ball a fraction before Ante Covic and going down under the challenge for a penalty. The Albanian took the responsibility himself, sending Covic the wrong way with a superb spot-kick.
1-1 Castro (74’) - A sloppy challenge inside the box on Josh Risdon by Victory defender Matthieu Delpierre saw Glory win a penalty, which Diego Castro calmly converted.
While Glory had their moments, Victory really should have had the match sewn up heading into the last 20 minutes.
But they didn’t take their chances and that can always spell trouble, with Delpierre compounding the problem with a needless trip on Risdon to give the visitors a penalty and a lifeline in the match.
Both sides wasted excellent chances in the last 15 minutes and were forced to settle for a point each in their final matches of 2015.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
Victory has now gone five A-League matches without a win for the first time since the start of 2012.
Glory boss Kenny Lowe has lost just once against Victory in seven games managing against them.
Berisha’s goal means he has now scored in his last four games at AAMI Park.
What a bright future young Victory defender Thomas Deng has!
Still only 18, the Kenyan-born centre-back was the standout defender on the pitch, constantly snuffing out Glory attacks while his composure and distribution was exceptional.
No wonder he made Aurelio Vidmar’s Olyroos squad this week.
Fahid Ben Khalfallah has been one of the league’s best imports over the last year and a half but was guilty of a shocking miss early in the second half.
Kosta Barbarouses whipped in a teasing cross from the right which gave the Tunisian an open goal but he somehow spooned it over the bar from just three metres out.
Definitely a strong contender for miss of the season!
Glory were dealt a blow just before the break as midfielder Diogo Ferreira limped off with a leg injury
THE FINAL WORD
What a dreadful December for Victory! Up near the top of the ladder at the start of the month, they will head into the New Year in fifth position. Coach Kevin Muscat needs to fix their disjointed performances, with a real lack of drive coming out of midfield. They start 2016 with a trip to Newcastle to face the Jets next Sunday.
Glory’s recent resurgence has continued now four games unbeaten and a lot of positive signs for the second half of the campaign. Things don’t get any easier though next up, heading to Brisbane for a clash with the Roar on Saturday.
Melbourne Victory: Vukovic (gk), Geria, Deng, Delpierre, Georgievski (Murnane 83’), Broxham (c), Bozanic, Barbarouses, Makarounas (Pain 81’), Ben Khalfallah (Thompson 71’), Berisha
Perth Glory: Covic (gk), Risdon, Grant, Thwaite, Warren, Ferreira (Oxborrow 39’), Sandor, Harold, Castro, Garcia (c), Reiners (Williams 82’)
Scorers: Berisha 25’, Castro 74’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Warren 18’, Covic 24’, Risdon 63’, Bozanic 68’, Georgievski 75’, Pain 90+1’
Conditions: 20C, Mostly sunny
Attendance: 22,554 @ AAMI Parkcomments