Honda leads Victory to Mariners win

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The reigning A-League champions showed why they can defend their title this season

Melbourne Victory have got their A-League title defence back on track as they sealed consecutive three points with a routine 4-1 win over Central Coast Mariners. 

Having claimed their first win of the season last week, Victory started the game full of confidence and should have been ahead in the 22nd minute after a delightful James Troisi chip found Kosta Barbarouses, who blasted high and wide when one-on-one with Ben Kennedy.

Japanese star Keisuke Honda would make no such mistake on the half hour mark as he intercepted a stray Antony Golec pass and slotted the ball calmly past Kennedy to hand Victory the lead.

It would only get worse for the Mariners, who found themselves 2-0 down just minutes later with Troisi tucking the ball home after being set up by Terry Antonis. 

Just before half-time, Victory would all but wrap up the contest with Corey Brown bagging his side's third after latching onto a deflected shot.  

After the break, Central Coast would show signs of life with Mario Shabow diverting a Ross McCormack effort home in the 62nd minute.

On as a substitute, the young attacker's first touch of the game would prove an effective one as he gave his new club some hope of a comeback. 

Despite being in cruise control for much of the second half, Victory would wrap up a 4-1 win with a goal at the death from Josh Hope and leave the Mariners rooted to the bottom of the table. 

A night to remember for: James Troisi

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Deserved his goal and should have had an assist to go with what was an outstanding performance. Surely giving Graham Arnold something to think about leading up to the Asian Cup.

A night to forget for: Jacob Melling

Was brought into the side after last week's loss but looked out of his depth lining up against the likes of Honda. A few errant passes opening the door for Victory in the first half. 

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