Victory's new 'Zizou' shines in A-League opener

It's a tough act to follow if you're a French midfielder with a bit of flair and fight and you go by the name of Zinedine.

But on his debut showing in the A-League Men, Melbourne Victory new boy Zinedine Machach looks like he will make a good fist of it.

Machach scored a late goal which wrapped up a 2-0 win away to Sydney FC on Saturday to begin the campaign.

- ESPNfootytips: Set up your A-League Men tipping competition
- Listen now: The National Curriculum | The Far Post

The win gives Tony Popovic's men the perfect platform to rebound from last year's season from hell and 27-year-old Machach, whose former clubs include Marseille and Napoli, could be a difference-maker.

The Frenchman's goal was a blend of the artistic and the primitive. He bumped off Sydney's Jake Girdwood-Reich and then showed some neat footwork to hoodwink Anthony Caceres and then unleash a well-placed shot past Andrew Redmayne.

"We've liked a lot of Zinedine and he's another player who had three months without any training between clubs," Popovic said. "Like all foreigners, some settle quicker than others.

"It's a demanding league and you have to be physically fit.

"You have to respect this league and he's come with a fantastic mindset to work hard, to be a team player and ultimately show his talent and his quality.

"I think we've just touched the surface with what he can do."

Machach's effort followed Bruno Fornaroli's first-half opener and while they were far from the finished product, Popovic likes what his team delivered in their season opener.

The Victory boss was keen to put last year's disappointment in the rear-view mirror and said the spirit to keep Sydney scoreless was a feather in their cap.

"I think you can name a number of players who were outstanding tonight," Popovic said. "I wouldn't single anyone out they all contributed and we needed everyone to contribute because any lapse in concentration and Sydney are good enough to punish you.

"I you can't say I felt comfortable at any stage when I look at the line-up and the quality they have on the pitch."

Meanwhile, Popovic said there were no concerns over Daniel Arzani after the 24-year-old came off in the second half after clutching at his lower leg.

"All reports are we've all pulled up well," Popovic said. "Obviously they're stiff and sore, you don't play a competitive game like that in 15 weeks of preseason but everyone is fit and healthy."