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Murray United will hope the return of marquee player Archie Thompson can arrest a run of poor results for the Border’s NPL soccer side.
Last weekend it was Thompson’s former A-League club Melbourne Victory that proved too classy at the La Trobe University ground.
Three of Victory’s standout from a friendly against world powerhouse Atletico Madrid last June terrorised the homeside — Chris Theoharous on the left wing, Stefan Nigro and George Howard.
United were on the back foot after just 15 minutes when Victory’s Nigro slotted home from a free kick – beating the wall and keeper.
But for the heroics of United’s keeper Abdulkerim Koc, the damage could have been greater following a diving save from a would-be cross and then diffusing a one-on-one.
United trailed 0-1 at the break, but began the second half with greater purpose, possession and chances.
When James Coutts, in his first game of the year, found Zac Walker in space in the 60th minute, the left footed finish was clinical and scores tied up.
United continued to create chances without reward and when the ball did go down the other end a rebound fell at the feet of Victory’s Theoharous, who found Howard in space and it was 2-1.
A defensive lapse finished the contest 10 minutes later with Howard volleying a corner into the roof of the net.
“We came back into the game at 1-1, and we’re looking strong, but we conceded two sloppy goals from our point of view,” Coutts said.
“We need to get our best 11 players on the pitch to have that work rate, attitude and the ability also, but currently we’re unable to have that.
“We’ll keep working with the boys until we do, but I’m confident when we have our starting 11 out there and gel as a team, we’re going to get some good results.”
Murray United returns to La Trobe on Saturday against Moreland City.

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