Juric goal not enough for Wanderers

A late comeback was not enough for an under-strength NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers as Melbourne Victory recorded a 3-1 win at AAMI Park on Tuesday.

A late comeback was not enough for an under-strength NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers as Melbourne Victory recorded a 3-1 win at AAMI Park on Tuesday.

In a game brought forward from February due to a scheduling clash, the Wanderers - without a host of key players - were the stronger of the two sides in the first half but were hit by two sucker-punches in the second.

Having taken the most shots out of any side in the Hyundai A-League, the match looked to be going to script as the Wanderers created a number of chances and it seemed only a matter of time until the ball would end up in the back of the net.

Unfortunately for the Red and Black the half time break stifled the momentum despite a relatively even match, Victory capitalising on their fewer chances proved the difference.

Backing up three days after an emotional Derby win, the Wanderers were without Mateo Poljak, Iacopo La Rocca and Jerome Polenz while influential attackes Shinji Ono, Tomi Juric and Youssouf Hersi had to start on the bench.

The match kicked off in searing 40-degree heat, which might have been expected to result in a sluggish affair but there was a good tempo early on with the Victory taking the initiative.

The first real chance of the match was created when Kwabena Appiah turned Adama Traore with ease inside the area and advanced on goal but was blocked off by Nathan Coe, the keeper doing just enough to stop the ball squeezing underneath him into the net.

Heffernan was next as his curling left-foot strike distance was tipped wide of goal by Coe before Mark Bridge forced Coe into a good save down low to the goalkeeper's left. Nikolai Topor-Stanley then headed straight at the goalkeeper from the resulting corner.

With the chances, territory and possession mounting for the Wanderers half time provided welcome relief for the Victory who made the most of the break as they were two goals to the good not long afterwards.

The Wanderers did pull a goal back when substitute Juric got in behind the Victory defence to tuck the ball past Coe four minutes into injury time but any hopes of a comeback were swiftly extinguished when Finkler broke up field to prod home his side's third little more than a minute later.

Melbourne Victory 3 (Thompson 52', Barbarouses 62', Finkler 94') Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Juric 93')