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Victory had goalkeeper Ante Covic sent off in the first minute and then also lost young defender Matthew Foschini before half-time but defended stoutly against a Roar line-up that in truth didn't ask enough questions of their decimated opponents.

Covic was handed what may have been the earliest dismissal in A-League history, with the resulting penalty from Henrique giving Roar a 1-0 lead.

But in front of 24,820 fans the home side hit back with two goals in 11 minutes through striker Archie Thompson - giving him three in two matches - the second of them set up by a sublime Harry Kewell long ball.

Thomas Broich then put the match back on even terms in the 27th minute from a free kick and things went from bad to worse for Mehmet Durakovic's men when Foschini received a straight red 10 minutes later.

But Victory dug in and refused to concede any more goals, with Covic's replacement Lawrence Thomas impressing with his display between the posts.

And the result came just over five years after Victory also went down to nine men against Central Coast Mariners by midway through the first half at the same venue but scored the only subsequent goal to snatch a 3-3 draw.

Spectators had barely had time to find their seats when a mistake from Adrian Leijer gifted Besart Berisha the ball 25m from goal.

Fresh from scoring four goals last week against Adelaide United, Berisha attempted to dribble around Covic but was brought down by the shot-stopper, who was given his marching orders.

With Durakovic forced to bring on Thomas, veteran Tom Pondeljak was the unlucky player to make way, with Henrique eventually converting from the spot at the second attempt but only after narrowly beating Thomas.

The goal and one-man disadvantage didn't hurt Victory though as within three minutes they were back on level terms thanks to a desperate lunge to win the ball from Diogo Ferreira who then teed up Thompson to chip Michael Theoklitos.

And just past the 20-minute mark the hosts stunned the Roar when Kewell stripped Henrique inside his own half and then played a long ball to Thompson, who wrong-footed both Matthew Jurman and Theoklitos, who slipped over, before burying the goal on his left.

Victory would lead for only six minutes though as Leijer conceded a careless free kick 25m from goal and Broich capitalised by sending his shot along the ground and under the jumping wall, into the left corner.

Broich very nearly doubled up moments later, only to be denied by the woodwork as he went near post and beat Thomas, before Foschini joined Covic for an early shower for a lunging tackle on Broich in the 37th minute.

From that point Victory had little choice but to go defensive, hoping to pinch a goal on the counter and while there were few chances for them Roar didn't exactly pepper their opponent's goal either despite dominating possession.

Broich and Jurman came closest to breaking the deadlock in the final minutes, Broich firing a missile at Thomas' goal but missing narrowly before Jurman's goal-bound header from a free kick was tipped around his post by Thomas.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Thompson 10', 21')
Brisbane Roar 2 (Henrique 6' pen, Broich 27')

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