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Victory ease past Bali, face trip to Japan for final ACL qualifier

Then Hope knocked the ball wide to Andrew Nabbout, who shot wide. A minute later Kamsoba set the same player up, with the same result: it’s something of a continuing storyline for the ill-starred Nabbout,  who is enduring a rotten run of luck in front of goal.

Kamsoba was causing havoc for the Bali defence right from the opening moments of this game, darting, diving, twisting and turning, dribbling round opponents, playing through-balls or little give and goes as he looked to drive into the Bali penalty area in pursuit of his elusive first competitive goal in Victory colours.

He linked up with Kruse only for the latter to see his shot blocked by Willian Pacheco; Kamsoba then danced round Dias Angga Putra to set up Kruse again but the Socceroo frontman’s shot was saved by Wawan Hendrawan.

The opening goal came in the 14th minute and Kamsoba, inevitably, was involved, although his was only a cameo role. Storm Roux’s rampaging run down the right brought him into the penalty area, Kamsoba’s back heel from his pass found Basha and the midfielder fired high to Hendrawan’s left.

Bali at this point offered only sporadic resistance. Stefano Lilipaly tried his luck with a shot, then Antonius Platje headed wide.

Kamsoba then came as close as he ever had to scoring in navy blue, his far post header hitting the post and then Hendrawan blocking his follow-up from the rebound.

Still the visitors were not prepared to give up the ghost and were finding ways to get back into the game. Putra’s pass to Platje saw the latter’s effort deflected over for a corner, then on the half hour Platje put his shot over the bar.

Lawrence Thomas in the Victory goal then had to save smartly from Paulo Sergio Goncalves before the big defender Pacheco came agonisingly close with a back heel from Yabes Roni Malaifani’s cross.

But Victory steadied their nerves six minutes from the break when Hope, given a start in the attacking midfielder role, tapped into an open net from Kruse’s cross after the latter had been found by a Basha long ball.

Kruse made it three just before the hour mark when he turned in from close range after Anthony Lesiotis had played a one two with Kamsoba and continued his run before turn the ball back across goal.

Still the Balinese team was playing for pride and could have reduced the deficit in the 69th minute when the ball broke to Platje after James Donachie filed to clear. The Dutchman found substitute Rahmat Syamsuddin, but the striker shot over with just Thomas to beat.

Victory substitute Jay Barnett hit the bar and when the ball was only partially cleared outside the penalty area Toivonen, standing alone, almost disdainfully swung a leg at the loose ball to loft it back over the defence and Hendrawan to make it four.

Kamsoba gleefully completed the rout in the dying moments.

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