Troisi double lifts Victory past Central Coast 3-1
A double from James Troisi helped the plight of under-pressure coach Kevin Muscat and helped Melbourne Victory to a much-needed 3-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners.
Troisi netted in each half on Saturday and Archie Thompson's 50th-minute goal was enough for the Victory to come from behind at Central Coast Stadium for their first win outside Melbourne this season.
The result ended a dreadful recent run of form for the Victory who had managed just one win in their past six matches, conceding 17 goals in the process.
"It was a vital three points for us," said Muscat. "We showed good character but, not only that, we played some decent football and created some good chances.
"From my perspective, it was important to get a win and a vital three points for us to start breeding that confidence."
The result lifts Melbourne level with the Mariners in third place, though trailing on goal difference.
It could, however, have been very different for the home side who went ahead after just 11 minutes as Bernie Ibini scored from close range for his first goal since returning following a six-month stint in China.
The Mariners were denied a penalty claim early in the second half with Pablo Contreras clumsily bringing down Mile Sterjovski from behind. However referee Matthew Gillett deeming the offence to have occurred outside the penalty area, though television replays proved otherwise.
"It was a 100 per cent penalty - there is no grey area," said Central Coast coach Phil Moss.
"The foul was definitely inside the box so that is disappointing.
"The goal conceded right on halftime took the wind out of sails."
After spurning several opportunities in the opening half, the Victory finally found their goalscoring touch with three goals in a 15-minute spell either side of the break.
Troisi tapped home a rebound with virtually the last kick of the first half, and doubled his tally on the hour mark rounding out a sharp passing move by converting with a near-post finish for the goal of the match.
Thompson put the Victory in the lead for the first time five minutes after halftime by sweeping home Adam Traore's perfectly delivered cross.
Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer was taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose and possible concussion after suffering a nasty kick to the head late in the game.
Melbourne Victory 3 (James Troisi 45+1m, 62m, Archie Thompson 50m) Central Coast Mariners 1 (Bernie Ibini 11m) at Bluetongue Stadium. Crowd: 9,138. Referee: Matthew Gillett