Melbourne Victory have maintained their perfect start to life under Tony Popovic with a commanding 3-0 win in their A-League Men clash with Brisbane Roar.
A Kai Trewin own-goal and Nick D’Agostino’s first strike of the season gave the hosts a first-half lead at AAMI Park on Sunday before Ben Folami nodded home to put the result beyond doubt early in the second stanza.
Winger Marco Rojas had a huge hand in proceedings, providing the assists for Victory’s second and third goals.
After being handed their first wooden spoon last season, new-look Victory now have two wins from as many ALM outings since Popovic took the reins this year and have also progressed in the FFA Cup.
It is the first time Victory have won their first two matches of a league campaign since the 2006-07 season – when they snared their first championship under Ernie Merrick – and first time they have kept consecutive ALM clean sheets in almost three years.
“I didn’t know that stat but the players will draw a lot of confidence from that,” Popovic said.
“As a team we defended very well and we pressed very well.
“They’re a mobile team, they played the back three and we were very aggressive in our press.
“At times that left us one-on-one at the back but we felt that gave us more opportunity to create chances and control the game.”
Trewin had a horror first half as he was booked for tripping D’Agostino off the ball before opening the scoring at the wrong end in the 27th minute.
Under pressure from Brendan Hamill at a Victory corner, Trewin accidentally headed the ball past teammate Macklin Freke in Brisbane’s goal.
New captain Josh Brillante began a slick move for Victory’s second when he picked up a loose pass by Roar defender Anton Mlinaric and played in Rojas, who squared the ball for D’Agostino to tap home in the 31st minute.
Half-time substitute Luke Ivanovic almost pulled back a goal for Brisbane within minutes of the restart when he rounded Ivan Kelava as the Victory goalkeeper charged out of his box, but the striker hit the post.
Ivanovic was made to rue the miss two minutes later when Folami headed home Rojas’ cross from the right in the 50th minute.
Brisbane coach Warren Moon lamented the “schoolboy errors” that led to his side’s second straight defeat.
“The first goal was really disappointing from our perspective and the second goal was a clear error,” Moon said.
“We’ve got young players that will have to learn from these types of games and moments.”