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Fortune favours the brave

Party time: Matthew Foschini and Archie Thompson get around goalscorer Marco Rojas on Friday night. Victory won an entertaining match 3-2 against Newcastle.

Party time: Matthew Foschini and Archie Thompson get around goalscorer Marco Rojas on Friday night. Victory won an entertaining match 3-2 against Newcastle. Photo: Getty Images

PACE, movement, fluidity, technique and finishing ability. When you have a four-pronged strike force that can threaten like Melbourne Victory, the best form of defence is attack. Especially when your key defenders are all out suspended.

Victory coach Ange Postecoglou is committed to the beautiful game and an offensive approach, but sometimes it tests the nerves of his team's supporters - as it did on Friday night when the Newcastle Jets fought to the last second after coming back from two goals behind to go down 3-2 in at AAMI Park.

Fortunately for Postecoglou, he has the prodigious young talent that is Marco Rojas at his disposal.

Rojas capped off another tremendous display with a spectacular second-half winner - his second goal of the night - after the Jets had clawed their way back into this contest to level at 2-2 with just over 15 minutes remaining.

In the end the result was about right, although Gary van Egmond's side will feel that any team that scores twice against Victory on its own ground is entitled to come away with something, especially as Nathan Coe had to pull off a sharp save from substitute Jets player Adam Taggart in the dying minutes.

With Adrian Leijer and Mark Milligan both suspended, most of the pre-match speculation had centred on how Postecoglou would solve his central defensive conundrum.

There was widespread incredulity at the notion that 169-centimetre midfielder Leigh Broxham would slot in at the heart of the defence alongside teenager Nick Ansell, who had played only two A-League games. Especially with the commanding physical presence of Emile Heskey leading the Jets' attack with Ryan Griffiths.

It was a bold gamble that paid off. But it was a close run thing.

While the Jets had a fair amount of possession and gave Victory a massive scare, Melbourne's makeshift rearguard did the job. Broxham belied his size disadvantage with a cool and polished performance and Ansell acquitted himself well.

If the second period showed how brittle Victory could be at the back - Ruben Zadkovich got the Jets back into contention with a long-range drive in the 64th minute and Heskey equalised in the 73rd - the first half served to illustrate the threat posed by Victory's Fab Four - Marcos Flores, Gui Finkler, Archie Thompson and Rojas - whenever the navy blues go forward.

The two South Americans, Argentinian Flores and Brazilian Finkler, play deeper roles but they are the orchestrators, along with screening midfielder Billy Celeski, of so much that is potent about this new-model Victory.

Finkler is an ever-available outlet roaming across the pitch, always finding a better-placed teammate.

Flores might not look as if he is that involved at times, but when the ball comes to him he puts a precision pass into the path of a teammate running into space.

So often that teammate is Thompson or Rojas.

Last season this pair often looked out of sorts and unhappy (Thompson) or lost and forlorn (Rojas) as they struggled to come to terms with the upheaval that wracked the club in the year of three coaches (Ernie Merrick, Mehmet Durakovic and Jim Magilton) and Harry Kewell.

Postecoglou acknowledged the roller coaster nature of the game - and the effect on supporters.

''Every club says they want to make their home ground a fortress, ours is becoming an amusement park with thrills every week.''

Under Postecoglou, there has been balance and harmony. Rojas, in particular, has flourished.

He looks confident and assertive and full of self-belief. He switches from right to left in cahoots with Thompson and teases and torments defenders with his technique.

Whereas last year he often crumbled under the weight of contact, now he skips the challenges and dances over tackles - as he did with aplomb to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute. Picking the ball up wide on the left the youngster dropped his shoulder, went around his marker and let fly with his right boot from well outside the penalty area with a shot that rose, dipped and carried too much weight for Jets keeper Mark Birighitti.

Thompson was not to be outdone. He finished off a terrific move, slotting home from a Rojas cross.

The Jets looked to have pulled off a tremendous recovery until Rojas struck again with a spectacular half-volley to restore the lead and give his side the three points that now takes it within four of league leader Central Coast.

Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Stats
SYD 1 vs HRT 1 Stats
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WSW 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SYD 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Stats
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Stats
ADE 2 vs PER Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs HRT 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Stats
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs BRI 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs HRT 3 Stats
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs SYD Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
HRT 2 vs CCM 2 Stats
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs VIC Stats
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
HRT 1 vs SYD 2 Stats
WSW 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs BRI Stats
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 2 Stats
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 08:40AAMI Park
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs SYD 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs HRT 04:00Westpac Stadium
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs PER 06:00Suncorp Stadium
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 06:00Hunter Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WSW 08:30Coopers Stadium
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 08:30Allianz Stadium
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 08:40North Sydney Oval
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs BRI 06:00AAMI Park
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WEL 06:00Hunter Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Wed, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs HRT 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs CCM 04:00Eden Park
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 08:40Coopers Stadium
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs SYD 08:30Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
PER vs NEW 10:45nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WSW 09:00Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs VIC 08:30AAMI Park
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 08:40Hunter Stadium
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 06:00Allianz Stadium
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
PER vs CCM 10:30nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs PER 06:30AAMI Park
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs WSW 06:00Westpac Stadium
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs NEW 08:30AAMI Park
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 08:45Allianz Stadium
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 06:00Central Coast Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs HRT 06:00Hunter Stadium
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WEL 08:30Coopers Stadium
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 09:00Suncorp Stadium
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs PER 08:40Simonds Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs HRT 06:00Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW 08:30WIN Stadium
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs VIC 08:30Pirtek Stadium
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs ADE 09:00nib Stadium
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs BRI 04:00Westpac Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs SYD 08:30Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WEL 09:00Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs NEW 06:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs VIC 09:00nib Stadium
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs WSW 06:00AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs WEL 06:00Sportingbet Stadium
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs HRT 08:30Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
PER vs SYD 10:30nib Stadium
CCM vs ADE 06:00Brookvale Oval
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 08:40Hunter Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 08:40Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WSW 06:00Hunter Stadium
WEL vs HRT 04:00Hutt Recreational Ground
SYD vs VIC 08:30Allianz Stadium
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PER 06:00Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs CCM 06:00Allianz Stadium
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs NEW 04:00Hutt Recreational Ground
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WSW 08:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs PER 06:00AAMI Park
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs VIC 09:00Suncorp Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WEL 06:00AAMI Park
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 06:00Hunter Stadium
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs ADE 08:40AAMI Park
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
PER vs BRI 10:30nib Stadium
WSW vs SYD 08:30Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs PER 08:30AAMI Park
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs HRT 04:00Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 06:00Hutt Recreational Ground
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 08:40Hunter Stadium
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WSW 06:00Suncorp Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs NEW 08:30AAMI Park
PER vs WEL 10:30nib Stadium
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs VIC 08:40Pirtek Stadium
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 08:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs BRI 06:00Allianz Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WEL 06:00Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs VIC 08:30Coopers Stadium
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs HRT 08:40Allianz Stadium
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 04:00Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs NEW 06:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
HRT vs BRI 08:30AAMI Park
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 01:00Hunter Stadium
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
PER vs WSW 10:30nib Stadium
WEL vs SYD 23:00Westpac Stadium
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 08:40AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 02:00Hunter Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 03:30Allianz Stadium
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs CCM 04:00Suncorp Stadium
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 02:00Westpac Stadium
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs HRT 03:40Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CCM vs WSW 04:30Central Coast Stadium
ADE vs BRI 02:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
HRT vs WEL 02:00AAMI Park
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 04:40AAMI Park
PER vs SYD 06:45nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs VIC 04:30Suncorp Stadium
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs SYD 04:45Hunter Stadium
WEL vs CCM 02:30Westpac Stadium
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs HRT 02:00nib Stadium
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs ADE 02:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HRT 04:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs CCM 02:00AAMI Park
WEL vs SYD 00:00Westpac Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs PER 02:00Pirtek Stadium
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 04:40Suncorp Stadium
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
Team P W D L +/- Pts
6 0 2 4 -6 2
7 4 3 0 6 15
7 4 3 0 9 15
7 5 2 0 7 17
6 1 0 5 -3 3
7 3 0 4 0 9
7 6 0 1 4 18
7 0 3 4 -9 3
View all
 
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