Honda and Toivonen inspire first half blitz as Victory beat Roar in six-goal classic
Melbourne Victory defeated 10-man Brisbane Roar 4-2 in an all-time Hyundai A-League classic on Friday night.
This is a fixture that usually delivers high drama, and with Cyclone Owen marauding the Queensland capital the possibility of a freak result may always have been on the cards.
And although it took a while for the heavens to open, the floodgates were unlocked and a crazy opening half ignited via Kosta Barbaouses’ crisp 13th minute volley.
The flashpoint of a fiercely contested affair occurred early on, when Eric Bautheac was dismissed for two yellow cards in quick succession – one accrued for a dangerous sliding challenge on Corey Brown, and the other awarded for the Frenchman’s role in the melee that ensued.
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That gave John Aloisi’s side a big mountain to climb against the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, but Adam Taggart’s equaliser from the penalty spot midway through the first half brought the contest level.
However, Victory turned on the style and were soon cruising following Ola Toivonen’s emphatic first-time finish from Corey Brown’s whipped delivery and Keisuke Honda’s coolly measured spot-kick.
The prolific Swede Toivonen rustled the back of his own net after heading Alex Lopez’s free-kick past Lawrence Thomas, but it would not offer any semblance of a route back into the match for the hosts.
Roar have not won any of the five matches in which they have conceded the first goal this season, and that fact was rammed home when Barbarouses finished off a slick Victory corner routine to make it 4-2 on the stroke of half time.
Both teams arrived back into the fray for a more measured and controlled second stanza, which led to few chances for both sides as the rain teemed down at Suncorp Stadium.
Carl Valeri and Terry Antonis went closest for the visitors, who kept things ticking over methodically after the turbo-fuelled whirlwind of the opening half.
Victory have now won six in a row, equalling their second-best winnings streak in club history.