Besart Berisha unleashes a curling shot on goal.
Besart Berisha unleashes a curling shot on goal.

Melbourne Victory in stunning comeback

IF Melbourne Victory goes on to make a success of this season it will look back on Sunday's second half as a turning point.

Down 2-0 at halftime Wellington and staring down a loss that would have sent it to the foot of the table with just one win from its first nine games, Victory produced a backs-to-the-wall performance that finally demonstrated the quality everyone knows this team has.

When your luck is out, the sporting gods can find all sorts of ways to lay the boot in.

And so when a first half Besart Berisha goal was ruled out by the VAR for the most marginal of offside calls, a decision closely followed by two Andrija Kaluderovic headers in three minutes, it looked for all money that Victory was again in for "one of those days".

Leroy George fires off a free-kick.
Leroy George fires off a free-kick.

But then came the turnaround.

Kevin Muscat is often criticised for not having a Plan B.

And again he stuck fat with his system before he was rewarded with a power-packed 45 minutes in which his side rode a wave of momentum to score three times.

Berisha netted the first in the 54th minute, he put on the pressure that resulted in a 57th minute Goran Paracki own goal before James Troisi netted the winner four minutes from time.

Remarkably, Victory now finds itself inside the top six.

Leroy George takes an air swing.
Leroy George takes an air swing.

"I thought we started very well and the fact that we were 2-0 down, we had that minimal lapse of concentration and they scored two fantastic goals," captain Carl Valeri said.

"But we knew we had it in us to come back and we showed that in the end.

"I think we created a lot more chances. It's very positive."

It can be difficult to know how to assess Victory games sometimes.

It looked like being another two points thrown away with enough good play and enough bad luck thrown in to cloud the final assessment.

But after a rocky start to the campaign, two wins in three weeks - notwithstanding the 4-1 Newcastle loss - has the credits rolling back into the bank.

Leroy George fires off a free-kick.
Leroy George fires off a free-kick.

Berisha can be his side's barometer and it showed as the striker's brightest performance of the season coincided with some of Victory's best work in general play.

He was arguably man of the match despite missing a couple of gilt edged chances.

Pleasing, too, was the second half return to form of Socceroo Troisi, while Leroy George was superb once again.

Matias Sanchez came in for the suspended Mark Milligan while, in a shock, vice-captain Leigh Broxham was dropped to the bench, with Stefan Nigro favoured at left back.

Discipline was not an issue this week, as Nigro was the only Victory player to collect a yellow card.



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