Besart Berisha has kept Melbourne Victory’s finals campaign alive with his match-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

It was one of those nights for Berisha – he barely got near the action in the first half, was denied by Paul Izzo in a clear-cut chance in the second and was yellow carded for delaying the match after the whistle had blown and frustratingly for him found the back of the net.

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But on the eve of stoppage time Berisha took his moment to deliver even when things weren’t going his way. The match was destined for extra time but Victory’s marquee man stood up when it counted.

The Reds opened the scoring in what was a free-flowing and tense elimination final with no shortage of yellow cards that was dished out.

United’s Nikola Mileusnic got on the end of an Isaias long-ball that he took from a quick free-kick. That pass was too difficult for Victory to deal with as Mileusnic burst clear and toe poked a shot past Lawrence Thomas who came well off his line.

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It didn’t take long for Victory to find the equaliser as their main man Leroy George popped up again. A cross from Kosta Barbarouses from inside the box meet the Dutchman at the back post and he headed it into the top left corner.

The game was destined for extra time but an even contest was won by some brilliance by Berisha. Barbarouses executed a cross that was identical to his assist for the first goal and Berisha managed to kick the ball over his head and find the bottom left corner.

Despite having a quiet performance overall, Berisha has provided his team with a semi-final berth against Sydney FC and Victory will be desperate to atone for their loss against the Sky Blues at the end of the home and away season.

Melbourne Victory 2 (George 63′, Berisha 89′)
Adelaide United 1 (Mileusnic 57′)

AAMI Park (15,502)

Referee: Chris BEATH
Assistant Referees: Matthew CREAM & Andrew LINDSAY
Fourth Offical: Shaun EVANS

Melbourne Victory
4. WILLIAMS Rhys, 6. BROXHAM Leigh, 8. BERISHA Besart (7. ATHIU Kenjok 90+1′), 9. BARBAROUSES Kosta, 10. TROISI James (18. SANCHEZ Matias 90+5′), 14. DENG Thomas, 17. DONACHIE James, 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 21. VALERI Carl (c), 24. ANTONIS Terry, 41. GEORGE Leroy (31. THEOHAROUS Christian 90+4′).
Substitutes: 1. ACTON Matthew (GK), 22. NIGRO Stefan.

Adelaide United 
2. MARRONE Michael, 8. ISAIAS (c), 9. BABACAR DIAWARA Papa (14. BLACKWOOD George 87′), 11. ABSALONSEN Johan, 16. KONSTANDOPOULOS Nathan (6. LIA Vince 81′), 17. MILEUSNIC Nikola (7. KITTO Ryan 72′), 19. GARUCCIO Benjamin, 20. IZZO Paul (GK), 22. GULUM Ersan, 23. ELSEY Jordan, 37. ADLUNG Daniel.
Substitutes: 1. MARGUSH Daniel (GK), 5. REGAN Taylor.

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Liam Watson is covering Melbourne Victory this season while completing Media and Communications at La Trobe University.