Melbourne Victory opened 2013 with a 2-1 defeat to the Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday. (Photo Football Federation Australia)

A-League: Melbourne Victory start New Year on wrong foot


Ange Postcoglou’s Melbourne Victory were hoping to get the new year off on the right foot against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Defender Adrian Leijer returned to action for the team after picking up a suspension on yellow card accumulation. He would replace Leigh Broxham on central defense for Melbourne.

We get Adrian Leijer back which will help us,” Victory head coach Ange Postecoglou told James Willoughby of Omnisport. “Adrian is our best defender and we need to put him back in there…he will go back to playing centre-half. Leigh was fantastic and he did a great job for us and that’s full credit to him. He put his hand up for it. Leigh will start on the bench tomorrow but no doubt he’ll make a contribution at some point, as he has all year.

“Whenever he has been asked to do a job, he has done a good job for us. He’ll push some of the other guys for a first-team spot now knowing that he can do a job down back as well.”

Midfielder Aaron Mooy would not be available for the Wanderers on Tuesay, but that wouldn’t stop the Wanderers from dealing the pain on the Melbourne Victory, 2-1. And the man that would deliver the damage: Shinji Ono.

Goals from Ono in the 42nd and 79th minute helped steer the Wanderers over the Victory, who could only manage a goal from Spase Dilevski in the 72nd minute of play. To add insult to injury, Gui Finkler could not finish the contest due to a season-ending ruptured ACL.

With the defeat, Melbourne sink to fourth in the A-League ladder with a record of 7-2-5 (23 points). The Victory continue their season on Jan. 5 against the Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

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