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Victory get first Champions League win

Asian Champions League 2014 Matchday 3: Melbourne Victory (AUS) v Yokohama F Marinos (JPN)-slide0
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Melbourne Victory have significantly boosted their chances of advancing in the Asian Champions League as they managed a 1-0 victory over Yokohama F Marinos at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.

Kosta Barbarouses celebrates his goal
Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

With such a heavy load of matches for the A-League side there were plenty of changes made, which lead to a disjointed opening to the match as Yokohama started the match well.

Despite that it was the Australians who opened the scoring just ten minutes in to the match as Rashid Mahazi and Archie Thompson worked well to steal possession on half-way and ryn at the Yokohama F Marinos defense.

The pair found James Jeggo who was able to send a through ball that pierced the Marinos defense, allowing Kosta Barbarouses to run on to the ball and shoot under Tetsuya Enomoto, whose touch was not enough to stop the goal being scored.

That set back didn’t stop Yokohama from controlling proceedings as they had the bulk of the ball throughout the first half, with Manabu Saito looking incredibly dangerous.

Victory were lucky not to concede a penalty midway through the first half, when it appeared that Pablo Contreras used his arm to control and then clear a Saito ball.

Late in the half Yokohama F Marinos had another chance to equalize as Yuta Narawa hit in a cross that just missed a team mate after Yuta Mikado’s header went just over the bar.

In stoppage time Barbarouses nearly doubled Victory’s lead as a counter allowed the New Zealander to get in the box and shoot but sent his effort just wide of the post.

Yokohama continued to dominate after half-time and in the 54th minute nearly found the equalizer as Jungo Fujimoto hit an impressive free kick that dipped, but not far enough as it bounced off the bar.

Lawrence Thomas was very nearly caught out as Saito’s long range effort was spilled by the young Victory keeper but he quickly smothered the ball to stop the threat.

In the 74th minute Victory thought they’d found a second as Barabarouses had the ball in the back of the net, after a tap-in but was denied by an offside flag.

That allowed Yokohama to mount a counter attack and a scuffed shot very nearly produced a goal as it deflected off of Contreras, very nearly catching out Thomas who just got back in time to save.

In the 83rd minute Fujimoto very nearly found a goal as Saito’s long range shot actually fell for Fujimoto who was very nearly able to score a tap-in but sent his effort just wide.

Victory responded again and minutes later Barbarouses thought he’d scored again, but yet again the offside flag denied him as he was offside after Tom Rogic’s shot, which he tapped home.

It mattered little as Victory held on for the win, leaving Yokohama F Marinos in deep trouble, sitting with just one point after their opening three matches meaning they will need to win their remaining matches if they are to advance to the knock out rounds.

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