Melbourne Victory spectacularly denied the odds after defeating Sydney FC 3-2 in extra time on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium, breaking their seven-game losing streak against the Sky Blues to book their place in the 2017/18 A-League Grand Final.

Victory nullified Sydney’s attacking threat with Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo kept quiet for the majority of the encounter.

Against all odds, Melbourne held on to record an outstanding win over their rivals which will see them go head to head with Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium next weekend.

Melbourne were the first to threaten the Sydney’s goal when Leroy George’s shot flashed wide of the post.

The visitors continued to dominate the Sky Blues’ penalty area as Kosta Barbarouses’ strike smacked the inside of the post.

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Despite their early chances it was the Sky Blues who broke the deadlock with Victory’s Stefan Nigro bundling the ball into his own net after he connected with Mierzejewski’s free kick.

Minutes after conceding, Kevin Muscat’s men almost found the equaliser when Carl Valeri’s header forced Andrew Redmayne into making the save.

Melbourne’s pressure paid off just after the 30-minute mark with Barbarouses cutting inside from the left to slide the ball past the Sydney shot stopper.

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The visitors went in front for the first time in the encounter early in the second half with James Troisi on hand to tap in Besart Berisha’s through ball.

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Looking to restore parity, the hosts peppered Melbourne’s goal and Josh Brillante came within inches of equalising with his long-range strike.

Thomas was at his best to deny Sydney as he produced a stunning save to keep out Bobo’s header before blocking David Carney’s volley.

Graham Arnold’s side continued to heap the pressure on the visitors and in the final minute of extra time they broke Victory down as former Sky Blue Terry Antonis struck the ball into his own net.

Sydney enjoyed the upper hand in the early stages of extra time with Mierzejewski and Bobo pressuring Victory’s defence.

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The second half of extra time saw the hosts continue to press the opposition as they went in search of the winner in front of the home crowd.

However it was Antonis who turned out with the match-winner for Victory after he slotted home with just under five minutes to run.

 

Sydney FC 2 (Nigro o.g 24′, Antonis o.g 90+5′)

Melbourne Victory 3 (Barbarouses 31’, Troisi 47′, Antonis 117′)

 

Allianz Stadium

Referee: Kurt Ams

Assistant Referees: David Walsh and Lance Greenshields

Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones

 

Sydney FC

1. REDMAYNE Andrew (gk), 4. WILKINSON Alex, 5. BUIJS Jordy, 6. BRILLANTE Josh, 7. ZULLO Michael, 9. BOBO, 10. NINKOVIC Milos, 11. MIERZEJEWSKI Adrian, 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 14. BROSQUE Alex (c), 26. WILKSHIRE Luke.

Substitutes: 20. CISAK Alex (gk), 3. WARLAND Ben, 8. RETRE Paulo, 17. CARNEY David, 18. SIMON Matt.

Melbourne Victory

20. THOMAS Lawrence (gk), 6. BROXHAM Leigh, 8. BERISHA Besart, 9. BARBAROUSES Kosta, 10. TROISI James, 14. DENG Thomas, 17. DONACHIE James, 21. VALERI Carl (c), 22. NIGRO Stefan, 24. ANTONIS Terry, 41. GEORGE Leroy.

Substitutes: 1. ACTON Matt (gk), 7. ATHIU Kenny, 16. HOPE Josh, 18. SANCHEZ Matias, 31. THEOHAROUS Christian.

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Studying Journalism at UTS. Obsessed with football and a die hard supporter of Sydney FC and Liverpool FC in the EPL