McGree stars in Adelaide win over Victory

Steve Larkin
Riley McGree has scored twice to help Adelaide to a 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory

Adelaide United's Riley McGree has emerged from a fog of controversy to score a brace in a 3-1 win against Melbourne Victory in Saturday night's A-League grudge match.

McGree, now with six goals in six league games this season, extended the Victory's miserable form - the powerhouse have just a solitary win after seven games.

After McGree's first-half goal, Victory captain Ola Toivonen equalled in the 61st minute.

But in the next minute, Adelaide's Michael Maria scored before McGree slotted his second just six minutes later.

McGree on Tuesday was suspended from internationals until April next year after an incident involving a Cambodian woman, while he was captaining Australia's under 23 side last March.

But the attacking midfielder shrugged off the furore with an influential display before a 12,198-strong crowd at Coopers Stadium.

"For Riley it (the controversy) is, for a while, a closed book, he accepted the punishment," Adelaide coach Gertjan Verbeek said.

"He is so strong and so fast and so hungry ... he is doing a great job."

McGree's opener came after a diagonal charge from teammate Ryan Strain which set-up Kristian Ospeth - the Norwegian striker swung a right-footed shot which rolled into the far post.

The ball rebounded to the tracking McGree, who deftly controlled with his body and tapped-in from a metre.

The goal was deserved for Adelaide, who made the running as Reds recruit James Troisi orchestrated play from midfield against his former club.

Troisi was industrious, striker Ospeth was creative up-front and Adelaide's defence held firm until Victory substitutes Elvis Kamsoba and Robbie Kruse provided a brief second-half spark.

Kruse expertly created Toivonen's 61st minute goal, winning a duel with Strain and launching a left-footer across the goal-face to his captain, whose first-timer thumped into the net.

But Victory's joy was as short-lived as possible.

Adelaide's Maria replied in the next minute - after a chain of possession from the re-start, he raced forward and darted into the box, with his low left-footer clipping Victory's diving Thomas Deng en route to the net.

McGree sealed Adelaide's fourth win of the season in the 68th minute, emerging in possession from a tangle with Tim Hoogland, cutting towards goal and firing from seven metres.

Melbourne Victory coach Marco Kurz blasted his side's sluggish start and said they "could (have) conceded a couple more goals".

"We had some moments, some chances," Kurz said.

"But ... we have to speak about the first half because if you start in this way, you never win in the future."