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Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory

Wasteful Wanderers sunk by Thomas, Toivonen heroics

12:30 PM WAT 05/01/2019
Melbourne Victory
The red and black were the better side for much of the night but couldn't make the most of their chances

Ola Toivonen's brace and Lawrence Thomas' goalkeeping heroics helped an off Melbourne Victory win 2-1 against Western Sydney Wanderers at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

The Wanderers dominated possession and chances for most of the night but were sunk by Toivonen's two goals either side of Alex Baumjohann's penalty.

Thomas also pulled off three world class saves to deny the home side as Victory moved temporarily to the top of the league with Perth Glory to play Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

Victory stopper Thomas made his first brilliant denial in the second minute when he somehow managed to parry Bruce Kamau's stinging drive away from danger.

He again stepped up 10 minutes later to be in the right position to block Patrick Ziegler's stinging goal-bound header.

But for all the Wanderers dominance and danger from set-pieces, Victory took the lead just before half-time after a defensive lapse from the home.

Somehow, the red and black allowed a three-on-three break for Victory which resulted in James Troisi sliding through Toivonen, who clinically finished in the bottom corner.

The pattern of the match continued in the second half, although Kosta Barbarouses should have extended Victory's lead but fired wide after a superb dummy by Toivonen.

Wanderers deservedly got their equaliser on 73 minutes after Storm Roux clumsily fouled Baumjohann in the penalty area - and the German clinically converted the spot kick.

Markus Babbel's side should have got their nose in front five minutes later but substitute Nick Fitzgerald saw his shot headed off the line by Leigh Broxham with Thomas in no man's land.

But it was Toivonen's class and positioning that was decisive in the match as he put his body in the right spot to bundle Troisi's cross into the net.

There was still time for Fitzgerald to strike the post before the 90 expired, with his stinging shot diverted by Thomas on to the woodwork as Babbel must have been cursing his luck.

It was all smiles for Kevin Muscat's Melbourne Victory, and they'll remain top of the league if the Roar manage to turn over Glory on Sunday evening.