Australia Cup Report: Late Drama As Victory Fall Short of Qualification

Melbourne Victory suffered a heartbreaking defeat In Darwin to the Newcastle Jets in Monday night’s Australia Cup Play-Off, beaten in the penalty shoot-out after a thrilling contest.

Victory managed to claw their way back into the match after two stoppage time goals sent the play-off into extra time, but fell short when it came down to spot-kicks.

Newcastle started the game fast, peppering Victory’s goal and forcing the backline to stand up strong.

Dominating possession, Newcastle’s Trent Buhagiar slotted home the opener from close range after just 18 minutes.

After a tough first 45, Victory was still within touching distance going into half-time.

Nishan Velupillay gave Victory a spark off the bench in the second half, testing Newcastle’s keeper early.

Eli Adams was denied an equaliser at the 60-minute mark after a brilliant run from Will Wilson.

Despite Victory’s strong start to the second 45, Newcastle doubled their lead in the 70th minute after a quick throw-in led to a goal from 18-year-old Archie Goodwin.

The game though would turn late in stoppage time after a brilliant pass from Ben Folami sent Velupillay through on goal to give Victory a glimpse of hope in the 92nd minute.

Then the unthinkable happened, as Victory were awarded a penalty at the death after Velupillay was taken out by Jets goalkeeper Ryan Scott.

Stepping up for the spot kick, Will Wilson smashed the ball into the back of the net to send the play-off into extra time.

Both teams had their chances in extra time, with the keepers at both ends being tested late.

After an eventful 120 minutes, it all came down to penalties.

Newcastle and Victory both slotted home their first spot kicks before both keepers made saves to tie the shoot-out once again.

The scores remained level until Jordi Valadon sent his shot high over the bar.

It was then heartbreak for Tony Popovic’s side as Phillip Cancar converted to win Newcastle the shootout 4-2, ending Victory’s Australia Cup campaign.


Newcastle Jets 2 (Buhagiar 18′, Goodwin 70′)

Melbourne Victory 2 (Velupillay 90+2′, Wilson (pen) 90+7′)