Melbourne Victory beat Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park

Graham Denholm

Three second half goals were enough for the Victory to cut the second place deficit to just three points.

Melbourne Victory earned three big points at home on Tuesday night, taking down Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 at AAMI Park in a rescheduled match. There was no repeat of the pre-game violence that marred their last affair, so this time the story lines were all on the pitch and on the weather report. Game-time temperatures of 104 Fahrenheit would have made for a miserable night out, if not for the home side's strong second half performance. Archie Thompson, Kosta Barbarouses and Guy Finkler each scored after halftime as the  Victory knocked off Western Sydney.

While the heat was certainly a factor, it was no hotter than a midday game at Perth Glory can often be. The biggest influence on the game was the lack of star power from either side with Mark Milligan, Mitch Nichols and Pablo Contreras missing for the Victory and Youssouf Hersi, Tomi Juric and Shinji Ono all starting on the bench for the Wanderers. Coupling those absences with four Victory youngsters in Oman with Australia's U22s made for a makeshift kind of night at AAMI Park. Andrew Nabbout then required substitution in the 14th minute when he departed with a head injury inflicted by Dean Heffernan.

A scoreless first half was quickly forgotten as Thompson scored the opener after just seven second half minutes. Rashid Mahazi and Barbarouses were involved in the build-up before the Thompson beat Ante Covic to the far post. Ten minutes later it was Barbarouses who got on the score sheet after Leigh Broxham played the Kiwi international through on goal. Tony Popovic belatedly introduced Hersi (between the first two goals), Juric and Ono, changes that jumpstarted the Wanderers' attack a bit too late. Juric finally got Western Sydney a goal, assisted by Hersi, but four minutes into injury time. It was immediately answered by Guy Finkler, restoring the Victory's two-goal advantage and crushing any hopes of a dramatic, last-second equalizer.

Melbourne are off to New Zealand where they'll play Wellington Pheonix at the Cake Tin on Saturday. The Wanderers are at Adelaide United on Sunday.

Scoring:

MVC Thompson (Barbarouses) 52'

MVC Barbarouses (Broxham) 62'

WSW Juri (Hersi) 94'

MVC Finkler (Troisi) 95'

Line-ups:

Melbourne Victory: Coe; Murnane, Traore, Leijer, Broxham; Jeggo (Brown 81'), Mahazi; Nabbout (Finkler 14'), Thompson (Makarounas 76'), Troisi; Barbarouses

Unused substitutes: Thomas, Ridesic

Western Sydney Wanderers: Covic; D'Apuzzo, Topor-Stanley, Beauchamp, Heffernan; Trifiro, Mooy; Minniecon (Ono 71'), Bridge, Appiah (Hersi 56'); Santalab (Juric 59')

Unused substitutes: Tyson, Alessi

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.