Melbourne Victory will play Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League championships after overcoming Brisbane Roar 1-0 in its semi-final at AAMI Park on Sunday night.
The last time these two teams met back in March, the Roar had won 1-0. But this time former Roar favourite Besar Berisha, who has won titles with both sides, headed the only goal in 70th minute of the tense game to take Victory through to their fifth successive grand final.
Victory proved determined in what was an extremely competitive showing and could have scored in the opening 25 minute through Berisha or Leigh Broxham, but heavy touches allowed the determined Jamie Young to smother both chances.
Berisha’s crucial powerful header home came after he was in the right place at the right time and rose high between Corey Brown and De Vere to get on the end of Ben Khalfallah’s wonderfully flighted cross.
Young bravely played the game with 26 stitches in his arm after he picked up an injury during last weeks match in Thailand and during this game the match was briefly halted whilst he received treatment after being caught in the head by the midfielder’s knee.
After the match Victory coach Kevin Muscat spoke of his delight at the win for his side.
“Executing in finals football intensity is that little bit higher. I thought when we didn’t have the ball, our intensity to get the ball back was frightening. It didn’t allow them to get a foothold in the game,” he said.
“I thought we were outstanding and we had all sorts of opportunities. There were that many selfless acts tonight and it was a great ball in from Fahid (to set up Berisha’s winner).
“He gave everything that was asked of him. Not by me but by his teammates. He tried two or three balls in the first half that he just overhit, that one he put on Bes’s head.” Mobilbet free bets.