Victory still not at their best as they snatch another FFA Cup win

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Two weeks in a row Melbourne Victory has stolen victory in the FFA Cup, thanks to penalty-specialist Anthony Leban. 

Victory was not at their best last week against a young and inexperienced Perth Glory side. But despite not being at their best, they managed to take the Glory side all the way to a penalty shootout and advance through to the round of 32 thanks to Leban’s winning penalty. 

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Fast forward seven days and Victory were back in Adelaide playing at MARS Sports Centre, but this time playing against NPL SA champions Adelaide City. 

Adelaide City have a history of success in the FFA Cup, in fact they were the first ever foundation club to defeat an A-League Men’s side way back in 2014 when they defeated a Tony Popovic managed Western Sydney Wanderers. 

That was their last encounter with an A-League Men’s side and City were looking to go two for two against the big boys.

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Coming off their first grand final win in 13 years five weeks ago, City showed no signs of rust as they pushed Victory to the limits.  

City were first to every ball, they snapped up interception after interception and put pressure on City’s defence and brought the heat to Victory defender Matthew Spiranovic in his first game in two years. 

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Despite having more shots, more possession and more corners, City found themselves without a goal heading into what looked to be extra time. The underdogs were now the frustrated team.  

But as Victory showed us last week against Perth, and as they have shown us many times over their four A-League Men’s championship years, you can never count them out. 

Substitute Lusi Lawrie-Lattanzio, back in his hometown of Adelaide, was dragged down in the box in the 95th minute and was rewarded with a penalty.  

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Victory had a chance to steal another game and send themselves into the FFA Cup round of 16. 

So up stepped last week’s hero Leban, to yet again put away the decisive spot kick with the last kick of the game. 

And that he did as Leban sent young City goalkeeper Dakota Ochsenham the wrong way and calmly slotted home the winning penalty. It was Victory’s first shot on goal for the entire game. 

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Tony Popovic avenged his 2014 loss against City and proved yet again that you cannot write off this Victory side.  

Featured image credit: Ngau Kai Yan 

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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