Three points at so-called Melbourne Rectangular Stadium keep Melbourne Victory afloat in the highly competitive Champions League Group G. Kosta Barbarouses scored in the ninth minute to give the hosts a 1-0 win over Yokohama F. Marinos on Tuesday night, keeping the A-Legaue side within reach of knock out stage qualification, at least for now. Guangzhou Evergrande cruised past Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the group's second game on Tuesday.
Despite Barbarouses' early goal, which came complements of a Jimmy Jeggo through ball, the Victory were the inferior side for most of the night. The Marinos, second place finishers is last season's J-League campaign, held the majority of possession and created most of the best chances in the game. That included a 54th minute free kick sent off the crossbar by substitute Jungo Fujimoto and a late shot from Saitō Manabu. Yet for all the control of the game, Yokohama could not find what would have been an important equalizer.
As it stands, the Victory will remain in third place but tied on points with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, whom Melbourne drew just last week. A two week break from Champions League play separates the Victory from its next encounter with the Marinos, which will come on Wednesday April 2 at the International Stadium in Yokohama. Meanwhile, a difficult game at Brisbane Roar awaits the Victory in domestic competition on Saturday March 22 at Suncorp Stadium.
MVC Barbarouses (Jeggo) 9'
Melbourne Victory: Thomas; Contreras, Leijer, Geria (Galloway 63'), Murnane; Broxham (Milligan 56'), Jeggo; Mahazi (Rogic 72'), Troisi; Thompson, Barbarouses
Unused substitutes: Coe, Ansell, Nabbout, Alan
Yokohama F. Marinos: Enomoto; Kurihara, Kobayashi, Fabio, Narawa; Ogura, Saito, Sato, Mikado (Nakamachi 77'); Yajima (Fujita 61'), Hanato (Fujimoto 46')
Unused substitutes: Kumagai, Shimohira, Tomisawa, Rokutan