Melbourne Victory's delightful youth came away with a 2-1 win over Shanghai SIPG in the AFC Champions League at AAMI Park on Wednesday night, bowing out of the competition on a winning note.
With Victory's qualification hopes for the Round of 16 over, coach Kevin Muscat fielded a youthful side in a bid to give his younger players a chance to shine, in which they certainly achieved with enthusiasm.
An own goal gave Victory a deserved lead before half-time due to the force of Ken Athiu and Pierce Waring. But Shanghai struck back almost immediately through Lin Chuangyi.
Jai Ingham headed home Melbourne's second which sealed a victory over a star-studded unit.
Matthew Acton (GK) - 6.5
One-handed save on Hulk's shot. Should be proud after a great performance in goal.
Rhys Williams - 7
Great start defensively, calm tackle to thwart Elkeson. Solid but Hulk was lurking late in the second-half and was menacing.
Ken Athiu - 7
Lively start with timely runs into the area but was just lacking the final product. Provided a brilliant cross to force an own goal.
Had some chances in the second
Thomas Deng - 7
Delivered great through balls and looked threatening in the final third.
Joshua Hope - 8
Lively in midfield, kept possession and beat his marker. Brave against quality opposition.
James Donachie - 6.5
Made important interventions in the penalty area. Was hard to beat in the air.
Pierce Waring - 7.5
Found space well and was boisterous. On the end of Athiu's cross, but the goal stood as an own goal. Combined superbly with Athiu.
Stefan Nigro - 6
Crucial tackles. Caught up-field but his transition was too late to thwart the attack that lead to the equaliser. Could come down to lack of experience. Did well up against Hulk.