Bruno’s back in form


Star striker Bruno Fornaroli rediscovered his goalscoring boots as Melbourne Victory returned to winning ways at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.

Having won just one of their previous nine matches, the Victory found some much-needed form to beat Adelaide United. 2-1.

Fornaroli scored both of the Victory’s goals, breaking a drought that had lasted for more than two months.

While it was joy for the Victory, Adelaide’s massive form slump continued, with the Reds now having picked up just one point in their past seven matches.

Adelaide’s pain was the Victory and Fornaroli’s gain.

The veteran marksman started the A-League season with a bang, scoring 13 goals in 10 appearances with form that earned him selection in the Socceroos’ Asian Cup squad.

But having found the back of net in the Victory’s 2-0 win over the Reds on December 30 before leaving the for the tournament in Qatar, the 36-year-old marksman had been on a barren run.

He failed to score in five Asian Cup appearances and on his return to the A-League, went another four matches without adding to his season tally.

However, that all changed on Saturday night against a team he makes a habit of hurting.

Fornaroli broke his drought in the 33rd minute, tapping home from close range after a shot from teammate Nishan Velupillay was parried into his path by Adelaide goalkeeper James Delianov.

The Uruguay-born attacker wasn’t finished, scoring in the 57th minute from the penalty spot after a shot of his own hit the hand of Adelaide’s former Victory defender Nick Ansell.

The goal came a crucial time for the visitors after Reds substitute, teenage sensation Nestory Irankunda, had equalised six minutes earlier with a long-distance effort that should been saved by the Victory’s former Adelaide goalkeeper Paul Izzo.

Irankunda’s pace and penetration had briefly swung the momentum back in the hosts favour, but Fornaroli’s clinical penalty steadied the Victory ship.

The evergreen marksman has now scored 17 goals in 20 matches against Adelaide, who must be sick of the sight of the A-League great.

It was only the woodwork that denied Fornaroli a hat-trick, with a stinging 86th-mintute shot smashing into the crossbar.

“We deserved the three points, so we are so happy,” Fornaroli told Network 10.

While Fornaroli’s second goal took some of the sting out of the Reds, they had two good opportunities to equalise for a second time in the match.

The first came in the 66th minute when unmarked midfielder Zach Clough somehow failed to hit the target with a header after being found by a cross from Javi Lopez.

Then in the final 10 minutes, fullback Giuseppe Bovalina was able to direct header on target but it was well saved by Izzo.

A disappointed Irankunda felt Adelaide deserved better.

“I think we should have won the game,” Adelaide’s goalscorer said.

“I got the team a goal, but we still lost, so the goal doesn’t mean much, but we’ll keep pushing for the last few games of the season.”

Irankunda said his own season had been frustrating and that injuries had “killed” me.

“I’ve got to just keep working hard to try to get my spot back in the starting line-up.”.

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