Victory hold on to claim FFA Cup triumph

Melbourne Victory made it an unprecedented trifecta in 2015 with a dominant 2-0 win over an injury-riddled Perth Glory in front of a disappointing crowd at AAMI Park.

Goals to Oliver Bozanic and the ever prolific Albanian Bersart Berisha saw Victory claim their third trophy of 2015, with a dominant first half enough to claim their first Westfield FFA Cup Final.

The result condemned Perth to their second successive loss in the final of the competition, as their 11 year trophy drought continues. The win will be somewhat overshadowed by the poor turnout and lack of atmosphere observed at AAMI Park with only 15, 098 in attendance.

Unsurprisingly it was Melbourne Victory dominating the early stages, with a majority of possession and a couple of half chances with Daniel Georgievski and the in form Kosta Barbourousas looking lively. Referee Ben Williams was extremely busy early, with foul after foul characterising the opening ten minutes of the final.

On 15 minutes a sublime volley by Barbourousas found the back of the net, but the strike was rightly chalked off, as Matthieu Delpierre had obstructed Ante Covic’s vision from an offside position.

Victory continued to heap the pressure on a rattled Glory side with Barbourousas terrorising Mark Warren down the right hand flank.

On 20 minutes an attack down that same wing saw Bersart Berisha go down under the challenge of Michael Thwaite. However despite the protests of the home crowd Ben Williams correctly waved the claims away.

Victory were rewarded for their dominance on 35 minutes as some tidy link up play from Finkler and Barbourousas down the right wing led to a relatively easy finish for midfielder Oliver Bozanic near the penalty spot.

The home side doubled their lead with FFA Cup specialist Berisha coolly slotting past Covic from ten yards following a lovely through ball from captain Carl Valeri at the 42 minute mark. The goal saw Victory take a resounding 2-0 lead into the half time break after a minute of stoppage time.

Glory began the uphill battle brightly with Diogo Ferreira seeing his long range strike smash the right hand post with former Perth keeper Danny Vukovic beaten on 49 minutes.

Perth, led by the tireless efforts of captain Richard Garcia, continued to work their way back into the match, with import Guyon Fernandez entering the fray on the 60 minute mark in place of  Hagi Gligor.

Glory’s Spanish star Diego Castro had arguably their best chance to peg one back on 72 minutes after his chance from seven yards was wildly slashed over the bar.

The closing stages were frantic with chances at either end as the game stretched nicely.

Fernandez saw his glancing header tipped over the crossbar by Vukovic and Victory absolutely butcher a three-on-one opportunity on the counter with Georgievski seeing his tap in from Barbourousas’s ball rightly ruled offside with ten minutes remaining.

Victory skipper Valeri was given his marching orders following a second bookable offence by lashing out at Djulbic, which will see the key midfielder miss the ‘Big Blue’ against Sydney FC next week.

Glory were unlucky not to at least gain a consolation after they battled bravely in the second half. However their vulnerability down the right hand side and lack of a cutting edge in the final third combined with the clinical finishing from Victory saw the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions take the game 2-0.

Mark Viduka Medallist: Kosta Barbourousas

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21-year-old Communications and Media Student at UWA, avid Liverpool and Seinfeld enthusiast following Perth Glory during the 2015/2016 A-League season.