Late goal sinks Victory in Hiroshima

13 March 2019 07:53:42 EST

Melbourne Victory conceded a goal four minutes from time to go down 2-1 in their Asian Champions League match with Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

It means Kevin Muscat's side are up against it in their bid to qualify for the knockout stages, having suffered defeats in both their first two games.

Keisuke Honda marked his return to Japan with a goal for Victory, when he cancelled out Shunki Higashi's opener.

But Daiki Watari headed home for the hosts to settle the clash at the Hiroshima Big Arch.

Victory fell behind inside three minutes, when Higashi converted from Patric's cutback.

Higashi was denied a second soon afterwards when keeper Lawrence Thomas made a good save from his 25-yard strike.

But Victory had most of the ball in the first half and Honda had a decent chance 11 minutes before the break when he fired wide after a nice touch from Kosta Barbarouses.

The home side threatened on the stroke of half-time when it took a last-ditch challenge from Leigh Broxham to deny Patric.

Barbarouses saw an effort blocked by Takuya Wada early in the second half, with Honda then sending a powerful swerving effort narrowly over the crossbar.

Both sides continued to create chances, and the two keepers were busy.

Thomas made a fine save to deny Tsukasa Morishima before Watari fired wide for the hosts in the 65th minute.

At the other end James Troisi forced Hirotsugu Nakabayashi to tip his curling 25-yard effort over the bar.

Honda netted his seventh goal of the season on 71 minutes, converting a cross from full-back Storm Roux who had been released by Anthony Lesiotis' pass.

The game was up for grabs in the latter stages, with Thomas denying Patric in a one-on-one before Barbarouses fired into the side-netting from an angle.

Watari won it when he converted a cross from substitute Yoshifumi Kashiwa.

Victory are 2/7 to win their next game against Brisbane Roar, who are 10/1 with the draw 19/4.

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