Archie helps Melbourne Victory break ACL hoodoo

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Melbourne Victory have progressed to the next round of the AFC Champions League for the first time in their history after defeating Gamba Osaka 2-0 at AAMI Park.

The win was all the more special as it could have been Archie Thompson’s last game for the club, but the talisman will now see at least two more games in Victory colours.

In the 10th minute Ollie Bozanic’s ball into the penalty area struck the hand of Shun Nagasawa and the spot kick was duly converted by Besart Berisha to make it 1-0.

It didn’t take long for Thompson to steal the show as four minutes later Kosta Barbarouses’ dispossessed Ryo Hatsuse to tee up the veteran who doubled the lead.

Gamba’s only chance of the first half came after 20 minutes as Kotaro Omori’s shot was parried by Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas. The follow up was then squandered by Koki Yonekura.

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On 65 minutes Hiroto Goya was through one-on-one forcing a save from Thomas.

With six minutes remaining in normal time, a header from Goya forced another save by Thomas, however the follow up was capitalised by Ademilson to pull it back to 2-1.

With an extremely tense finish to the game, Victory only just managed to weather the storm to break their AFC Champions League hoodoo and qualify out of the group stage.

Melbourne Victory: 20. THOMAS Lawrence, 2. GERIA Jason, 4 ANSELL Nick, 5. GEORGIEVSKI Daniel (84’ GALLOWAY Scott), 6. BROXHAM Leigh (74’ 16. MAHAZI Rashid), 8. BERISHA Besart, 9 BARBAROUSES Kosta, 10. THOMPSON Archie, 13. BOZANIC Ollie (67’ 22. MAKAROUNAS Jesse), 17. DELPIERRE Matthieu, 21. VALERI Carl

Gamba Osaka: 18. YOSUKE Fujigaya, 5. DAIKI Niwa, 8. IWASHITA Keisuke, 9. ADEMILSON, 14. YONEKURA Koki, 19. OMORI Kotaro (73’ 10. FUTAGAWA Takahiro), 20. NAGASAWA Shun (61’ GOYA Hiroto), 21. DEGUCHI, 25. FUJIMOTO Jungo, 27. UCHIDA Tatsuya (45’ 35. Ritsu DOAN), 35. HATSUSE Ryo

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov

Attendance: 10147

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Clement Tito
Currently studying at Deakin University in Melbourne, Clem has experience writing on AFL and has worked at Preston Leader Newspapers in Victoria. He loves reporting, spectating, discussing and playing both AFL and football.