In a tight match at the Asian Championship League, Melbourne Victory sweeps out Yokohama F Marinos by 1-0.
The goal was scored at the first half by Kosta Barbarouses in the eighth minute, when Jimmy Eggo chanced upon the weak midfield of Yokohama, passing it on to Kosta who made no mistake scoring the winning goal.
On 26 minutes, the match seemed to have been going towards a draw when Yokohama's Saito Manabu surged within the penalty box, which looked like a sheer penalty kick, got avoided. The cross also appeared to strike Pablo Contreras's arm, but fortunately, was unnoticed by the young Malaysian referee.
More chances followed for Victory right in the first half, but they struggled to keep the fluency handling the ball.
The manager of Victory, Kevin Muscat, stated his side had to "withstand a barrage of pressure."
"There was a certain desperation tonight in that final third to stand up and really defend and not concede. That was an improvement on the last game against Jeonbuk."
However, Muscat decided to keep his national team players Tom Rogic and Mark Milligan on the bench.
In the next half of the game, Yokohama was aggressive, putting pressure on Muscat when Sato Yuhei missed a good chance that went wide from the goal. On 54 minutes, substitute Jungo Fujimoto got another fine chance, but unfortunately, the ball rattled the crossbar.
The second half also saw some changes when Muscat sent Mark Milligan for Leigh Broxham to strengthen the midfield.
The match also gave chances for Adrien Leijer back in the team after a brief hiatus for his facial fracture.
This was one crucial match for Melbourne to keep them going in the league.
The two teams will meet again in a fortnight in Japan. Yokohama coach Yasuhiro Higuchi is optimistic their team will emerge against all odds.
He said, "As long as we win the remaining three matches, we will be able to progress."