Carlos Salvachúa has his first win as Melbourne Victory boss under his belt after his new side downed Indonesia club Bali United 5-0 in AFC Champions League action on Tuesday night.
With their coach welcoming the ACL as a chance to bed down his style on his new charges, Victory carried over the momentum from their promising attacking conclusion to their 1-0 round 15 defeat to Adelaide United
But unfortunately for the Victory contingent of the 5387 fans in attendance, the profligacy in front of goal that had also featured in their defeat to the Reds, carried over in the first half with the boys in Navy Blue somehow only able to take a 1-0 lead from a promising early stint after Migjen Basha fired home in the 14th minute.
Stirring to life, the visiting Indonesians were able to force the contest onto a more even keel for a 20-minute spell in the middle of the opening stanza – Antonius Platje spurring a number of chances for the visitors – but Josh Hope’s goal in the 37th minute served to dampen any flickering hopes of an upset.
They were then extinguished in the 59th minute when a close-range effort from Kruse was bundled over the line and laid to rest in the 81st when Ola Toivonen – making his return from injury – made it 4-0.
In the feel-good moment of the night, Elvis Kamsoba then put the cherry on the sundae in the 90th minute to make it 5-0 and score his first goal for the club since he joined them in January 2018.
“Happy with the result,” Salvachúa said post-game. “Now we have the chance to go to Japan.
"It’s important for us to build up the team with good results. We don’t have a lot of time to train and we need to take every chance to get better.”
Victory's first clear chance of the contest arrived after just three minutes when Adama Traore – mercilessly bundling defender Yabes Roni out of the contest – got the down the left flank and laid in a cross that Robbie Kruse was just unable to flick on.
Two spurned chances by Andrew Nabbout in the seventh and eighth minute followed, before Kruse's leisurely attempt at a shot was charged down by the Balinese defence in the ninth.
Supplying the pass to set up Kruse was Kamsoba, who was here, there and everywhere on Tuesday, with the Victory cult hero doing everything but score.
It was the Burundi international’s assist – a sumptuous backheel after being found at the top of the area by Storm Roux – that set up Basha’s opener before he almost had one of his own in the 19th minute with a spectacular attempt at an overhead kick that went wide.
Moving up the end after a chance for Platje went wide, Kamsoba, somehow, then failed to secure his maiden Victory goal in the 22nd after a close-range header found the post and bounced back to him only for goalkeeper Wawan Hendrawan to then save his follow-up.