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Victory survive Reds rally in A-League

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/02/2017 Michael Ramsey

Melbourne Victory have continued their surge toward the A-League finals, surviving a late scare from last-placed Adelaide United to claim a 2-1 victory.

The second-placed Victory's two-goal lead evaporated in the 90th minute when Adelaide's Tarek Elrich pounced on some loose defending by Jason Geria.

The Reds continued to press their case but ran out of time to claim an equaliser, with Victory climbing to within eight points of ladder-leaders Sydney FC.

Victory had dominated most of the game but were unable to break through until the 65th minute, when Marco Rojas coolly converted a free kick.

Rojas sent a curling shot into the top corner from just outside the box after being brought down by Dylan McGowan, who was booked for the late challenge.

The star winger continued to cause headaches and almost scored again minutes later with a header that hit the crossbar.

Gun striker Berisha made it 2-0 in the 81st minute with a sublime finish off the outside of his foot from 12 yards.

Already the competition's leading goalscorer, Berisha also celebrated his 50th goal for Victory and 98th in the competition.

He had been kept quiet earlier but didn't waste his only clear opportunity of the game.

A Victory goal had seemed inevitable in the first half but United's teenaged goalkeeper Daniel Margush saved his side's skin on several occasions.

Playing just his second A-League game after debuting last January, the 19-year-old's brilliant 57th minute reflex save denied James Troisi in what had been Victory's clearest chance of the game.

Victory playmaker Troisi was outstanding throughout and wasted little time making an impact on the game, forcing Margush to make a second effort to deny his curling free kick with 90 seconds on the clock.

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