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Melbourne Victory push deep into final six with win in Townsville

Melbourne Victory have enhanced their finals chances with a solid 3-0 win over North Queensland Fury in Townsville tonight.

Last season's runners-up were in need of maximum points to edge away from the rest of the pack and the players came up with the goods, scoring once in the first half through Danny Allsopp, before substitute Mate Dugandzic netted twice in quick succession in the second term.

The Victory moved four points clear of sixth-placed rivals Melbourne Heart as the hapless Fury slumped to their sixth straight defeat.

A-League Week 24North Queensland Fury: 0 Melbourne Victory: 3 (Danny Allsopp 27', Mate Dugandzic 69'/73')

Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Crowd: 4,093 Referee: Jarred Gillett Yellow cards:NQF - Ufuk Talay 26', Isaka Cernak 87' MV - Adrian Leijer 14', Billy Celeski 53'

The Fury had a few near misses in the opening 15 minutes or so as they looked to attack the Victory goal early but their determination for an early score ended up going against them when the visitors took the lead.

GOAL Tom Pondeljak cut across goal from the right side of the penalty area for Danny Allsopp to finish with ease from close range, giving the Victory a much-needed lead, slightly against the run of play.

Victory keeper Michael Petkovic made a strong challenge to deny soon-to-be teammate Isaka Cernak in the 40th minute before the home side again began strongly, making their intentions clear in the second term.

They had a few half-chances before Melbourne doubled their advantage through Dugandzic who replaced Carlos Hernandez in the 62nd minute. GOAL The youngster needed just seven minutes to get in on the act, heading home a poor clearance from a corner by Fury keeper Justin Pasfield to make it 2-0.

GOAL Just four minutes later, Dugandzic got on the end of a long ball before slotting home to essentially wrap up proceedings and giving his side confidence booster after a tumultuous few days following the fall-out from the derby with the Heart.

Starting Line-Ups

NQFJustin Pasfield (gk), Eric Akoto, Mark Hughes, Simon Storey (Hingert 60'), Andre Kilian, Brad McDonald, Ufuk Talay (Edds 69'), Isaka Cernak, Panny Nikas, David Williams, Chris Payne (Grossman 76')

Subs - Sebastian Usai (gk), Jack Hingert (60'), Gareth Edds (69'), Chris Grossman (76')

MV Michael Petkovic (gk), Adrian Leijer, Roddy Vargas, Evan Berger, Diogo Ferreira, Tom Pondeljak, Grant Brebner, Carlos Hernandez (Dugandzic 62'), Billy Celeski, Marvin Angulo (Foschini 35'), Danny Allsopp

Subs - Sebastian Mattei (gk), Matthew Foschini (35'), Mate Dugandzic (62'), Ricardinho

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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