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Victory fall in Yokohama

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Melbourne Victory struggled to get much going in their Champions League match against Yokohama F Marinos at Yokohama International Stadium as they fell to a 3-2 loss on Wednesday night.

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In the seventh minute Victory had the opening goal as James Jeggo played in a ball for Jason Geria who was brought down in the area. That allowed James Troisi to step up and slam home the game opening penalty.

Yokohama started to go for it after the goal and in the 19th minute they were level as Tetsuya Enomoto sent a long ball up the field of play for Sho Ito who was able to lose Leigh Broxham, control, and chip over the keeper for the equalizer.

And so it was that in the 25th minute Yokohama snagged the lead as a corner was flapped at by Lawrence Thomas and fell, with Broxham’s attempted clearance doing horribly, sending the ball right to Nakamachi who took a touch and then slammed the ball home.

That goal saw Yokohama let off the pressure, and Victory worked their way back in to the match and they nearly got back on level terms in the 29th minute when James Troisi hit a volley, that deflected heavily, going just wide.

But with a lead, Yokohama were standing firm, making life difficult for the Victory attack, led by Troisi, despite seeing more of the ball in the closing stages of the half, the stern Yokohama defense kept it 1-0 at the break.

Yokohama continued to control the match in the second half, as they took charge again, controling the match as they really took it away from Victory.

In the 58th minute Victory were lucky not to concede a penalty as Nakamura got around Leijer before being bundled over by Leigh Broxham, but the referee called play-on.

Just past the hour mark Shingo Hyodo had a great opportunity as the ball fell to him after a scramble, allowing him to take a touch, but saw his effort denied by a Thomas save.

Thomas had to be quick in the 67th minute to debt Nakamura as he took a free-kick off one step, with such power that Thomas had to scramble to make the save.

Despite the run of play Victory could well have found an equalizer with nine minutes to play when Troisi sent a ball from the left over Andrew Nabbout, who was able to run on to the ball, but his touch let him down, producing a much too heavy touch, sending it out of play.

Three minutes later Marinos had a chance as Nakamura was left wide open and attempted to chip Thomas, which gave the Victory glove man enough time to recover.

With two minutes to play Yokohama wrapped up the match as they countered Melbourne Victory’s counter before Sato centred for Hyodo who had caught Thomas out for a simple finish.

In stoppage time Victory managed a consolation as Nabbout worked down the right and found an unmarked James Jeggo who easily tapped it home.

That would only be a consolation, as time ran out on Victory who had to wear the 3-2 loss, putting them three points adrift of advancement.

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