Lia bags brilliant brace but Victory salvage draw

Adelaide United's Vince Lia produced two brilliant strikes but Melbourne Victory managed to salvage a 2-2 draw thanks to substitute Mitch Austin at Adelaide Oval.

Vince Lia

Source: AAP

Melbourne are still yet to register a victory after their first three matches, but coach Kevin Muscat will be slightly relieved to have at least secured a point as pressure continues to build on last season's Grand Finalists. 

The match started off well enough for Muscat's men when in the 13th minute Leroy George delivered a pinpoint free-kick from the left that was perfectly headed home by striker Besart Berisha to make it 1-0 to the away side. 

It was the A-League's all-time top goalscorer's first strike of the season, and while two matches without a goal might be a drought for him it's nothing compared to Lia who coming into this match had only managed four goals in over 232 appearances. 

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The midfielder, who after being let go by Wellington Phoenix last season sent an email to the nine other A-League clubs with Adelaide the only side to respond, stunned everyone when he scored not one, but two brilliant goals. 

On both occasions Lia was assisted by the Reds new Danish signing Johan Absalonsen, who showed great movement and technique throughout. 

But just when it seemed Victory were destined for a third loss in three matches, substitute Mitch Austin struck to make it 2-2 in the 82nd minute after Berisha had caused havoc in the United box. 

Berisha's battle with Adelaide's Jordan Elsey was a constant theme of the match. Twice they clashed in the first half with some calling for the Victory striker to be sent-off just before half-time after he wrestled Elsey to the ground as the Reds defender blocked Berisha's run towards the ball. 

Berisha was given a yellow card, but it was unclear if it was for the Elsey incident or the small push he gave to the fourth official in the ensuing scuffle. 

The result means that Adelaide moves temporarily up to third position on the table, having not lost a game yet, while Melbourne, still yet to record a victory, slide up to eighth for the moment with four matches remaining in the round.  


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Published 20 October 2017 at 10:09pm
Source: SBS The World Game