2018/19 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Adam Taggart (27' PEN)
  • Ola Toivonen (42' OG)
  • √Čric Bautheac (21')
  • Kosta Barbarouses (13', 45'+2')
  • Ola Toivonen (32')
  • Keisuke Honda (40' PEN)

Kosta Barbarouses hits brace as Melbourne Victory beat Brisbane Roar in classic

Melbourne Victory's A-League winning streak stretched to six matches after a dramatic 4-2 win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

Victory moved to the top of the competition ladder in a match defined by a first half which featured six goals, two penalties and a red card.

Star imports Ola Toivenen and Keisuke Honda were again at the heart of Friday night's action, both scoring for the visitors but also having a hand in the Roar's two goals as well.

Former Brisbane striker Kosta Barbarouses scored twice for Victory to take his tally to four goals in the past three games for Kevin Muscat's men.

The Roar slumped to a third-straight loss and will be without French marquee Eric Bautheac for next weekend's trip to Wellington after his sending-off in a remarkable opening half.

Victory coach Muscat believed the way his team shut down the match in a rain-lashed second half will be an important learning curve for his men.

"Just a challenge of our maturity, find out where we are as a team," Muscat said. "It was a good test for us in the second half. We had quite a few chances and limited them to set pieces."

The action began in the first minute when Victory cleared the ball off their goalline three times in seconds, as Avram Papadopoulous, Adam Taggart and Stefan Mauk were all denied.

Victory went ahead on 13 minutes when Barbarouses swept home a James Troisi pass after Honda had pinched the ball in midfield for the visitors.

On 20 minutes, Bautheac -- still fuming after being caught by Troisi minutes before -- launched into a wild challenge on Victory left back Corey Brown.

The Frenchman was fortunate to see yellow for the challenge, but became involved in a scuffle with Toivenen and Troisi and was shown a second yellow by referee Adam Fielding.

Despite going down a man, the Roar levelled in the 26th minute when a goal-mouth scramble led to Honda tripping Taggart inside the box and the Brisbane striker picked himself up to convert the penalty.

Within six minutes, however, Victory were back ahead when Toivenen drifted into space in the penalty area and swept home his third goal in as many games.

Victory went two goals clear when Honda scored his fifth of the season from the penalty spot after Daniel Bowles used his hand to block a Terry Antonis strike.

Brisbane reduced the margin to one when Toivenen headed an Alex Lopez free kick past his own keeper, but Victory still had time to score one more before half-time.

In a clever corner routine in the 47th minute, Honda rolled the ball to Troisi on the edge of the six-yard box who knocked it to Barbarouses for the New Zealand international to score his second of the night against his former club.

Roar coach John Aloisi felt the dismissal of Bautheac was decisive in the end.

"I thought 11 v 11, we were matching them," Aloisi said. "We should have scored early on... then we lose the ball in a bad area and they score off their first chance.

"It was difficult playing, mainly against 12, the whole night. It would've been a great game if it was 11 v 11.

"I asked Adam [Fielding], the referee, at half-time where Bowlesy is supposed to put his arm? I don't know where he's supposed to put his arm. If it's an intentional handball, it's a second yellow card -- off. We can only control and focus on ourselves and that's what we'll do."

The visitors made sure the second period was less hectic as they closed out the game in pouring rain.

Victory will aim to stretch their winning streak to seven matches next weekend when they face crosstown rivals Melbourne City.