In order to progress into the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Melbourne Victory needed a result in Japan against Yokohama F. Marinos. After an early penalty it looked like that scenario could unfold but three unanswered goals gave the hosts a comfortable 3-2 win at the Yokohama International Stadium on Wednesday night. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors surprised Guangzhou Evergrande with a 1-0 win at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium in the evening's other match, leaving the Victory three points out of a qualifying position.
James Troisi gave the visitors early hope when he calmly converted a seventh minute penalty after Jason Geria was taken down in the box. But that was it for the Victory until the dying moments of the game, as the Japanese hosts took control midway through the first half. Sho Ito, who just joined Yokohama from Shimizu S-Pulse, chipped Lawrence Thomas after bringing down a long ball in the 21st minute, leveling the score. Six minutes later, Thomas was at fault as he failed to hold a cross from the left and after a poor clearance attempt by the Victory defense, Kosuke Nakamachi drilled a shot into the lower right corner for a 2-1 Yokohama lead. Shingo Hyodo finished off the game in the 89th minute with a nice turn and shot across the face of goal. Jimmy Jeggo managed to slip a goal past Tetsuya Enomoto in the final seconds but it wasn't enough to keep the Victory from dropping points in a vital game.
The difficulties ahead for the Victory are due to a home game against Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday April 15 at the Etihad Stadium and closing the group stage campaign in Korea against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors a week later. Both clubs are currently ahead of Melbourne in Group G. Meanwhile, in the A-League, the Victory are trying to get into second place with two away games to finish the season. Both domestic encounters will take place before the Evergrande match, including this weekend's trip to Newcastle Jets on Saturday April 5.
MVC: Troisi (pen) 7'
YOK: Ito 21'
YOK: Nakamachi 27'
YOK: Hyodo 89'
MVC: Jeggo 92'
Yokohama F. Marinos: Enomoto; Kobayashi, Fabio, Nakazawa, Narawa; Ogura, Hyodo, Nakamachi (Kumagai 75'), Nakamura (MIkado 92'), Jungo (Sato 77'); Ito
Unused substitutes: Rokutan, Kurihara, Dutra, Hanato
Melbourne Victory: Thomas; Leijer, Geria, Murnane; Broxham, Troisi, Mahazi, Jeggo, Makarounas (Brown 78'); Thompson, Pain (Nabbout 69')
Unused substitutes: Coe, Stella, Galloway, Ridesic