Why Victory deserve their spot in the Grand Final

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After finishing fourth in the regular A-League season, you would not be at fault for discounting Melbourne Victory from making their third grand final in four years.

A nail biting 3-2 win over league leaders Sydney FC secured their passage into the 2017/18 A-League Grand Final where they will meet Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium next Saturday.

They entered the finals series as outsiders but now have the chance to write their name into A-League history if they overcome the Jets in the grand final next week.

Throughout the season, Victory struggled to put a consistent starting eleven on the park with injuries and international duty taking its toll on Kevin Muscat’s side.

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“We’ve stared down numerous challenges this year and built a group who’s getting stronger and stronger and better and better,” Muscat said.

“Through the injuries we’ve had to Mitch Austin and then James Donachie. Thomas Deng goes away for a month and then two players leave the club in the window.”

“That group there is as resilient as I’ve worked with,” Muscat said.

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Melbourne’s fighting spirit was there for all to see in last night’s clash with Terry Antonis’ performance demonstrating the fight and will power that has been built into the club.

The former Sky Blue went from zero to hero as he lifted himself up after scoring an own goal in the last minute of injury time to notching the all-important goal in the second half of extra time to send his side into the grand final.

Last week’s 2-1 win against Adelaide United was another example of the club’s never say die mentality as they shrugged off their opponents despite being one goal down and coming from behind.

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To prepare for next week’s showcase event against Newcastle they will need to be at their peak both physically and mentally as they gear up to play in a fixture which has not been too kind to them in recent times.

Aside from their FFA Cup win, Victory have not triumphed in the Hunter since the beginning of January 2016.

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However, for the time being, Muscat is keen to relish in his side’s victory over their fierce rivals.

“It’s going to taste so much sweeter when we do it the hard way and that’s exactly what we did tonight,” Muscat said.

“The opposition tonight have never beat us in a final so we’re pretty proud of that record, it’s a great record to have.”

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