Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final Match Preview

Victory eyeing a fifth Isuzu UTE A-League Championship.


For the first time in six years, Melbourne Victory will feature in a Grand Final after a dramatic Semi-Final win against Wellington Phoenix last weekend.

A sold out crowd at Sky Stadium created an electric atmosphere, with the first spot in the Grand Final on the line.

The first leg of the semi-final had finished 0-0, meaning everything was still to play for in the second leg of the tie.

The first half was as tense and hard-fought as the first leg of the tie, with both teams looking most dangerous in transition.

Neither side were able to open the scoring by the time the first 45 minutes had elapsed, as the game continued to edge towards a dramatic conclusion.

Wellington came out looking even more determined in the second half, creating the majority of early chances.

Their strong start to the second stanza was soon rewarded when a controversial penalty was awarded for handball just after the hour mark.

Coming at such a crucial moment of the game, Victory needed Paul Izzo to step up yet again. Izzo seized the moment, making a superb diving save to deny Alex Rufer and the follow-up attempt.

Extra time seemed an inevitability as the minutes ticked by and both clean sheets remained intact.

Victory were in need of something special. Adama Traore made himself an unlikely hero. A searing strike from outside the box with just minutes of regulation time remaining looked to have sent Victory through to the Grand Final.

However, in the ninth minute of second half stoppage time, the Phoenix found their equaliser.

However, the heartbreak did not last long.

A corner delived by substitute Jake Brimmer in the 102nd minute was flicked on by Roderick Miranda, finding its way to Chris Ikonomidis at the back post, who headed in from point-blank range to return Victory to the lead.

An extraordinary moment in an extraordinary game, Victory were once again in pole position to secure a Grand Final spot.

Despite the host’s best efforts, they were unable to breach the Victory defence for a second time.

Saturday night brings about a unique opportunity for more than a few players and coaches, with the likes of Tony Popovic and Bruno Fornaroli eyeing off their first-ever Champions Trophy.

A start for Jason Geria this weekend will see the veteran defender make his third Grand Final appearance for the Club, while retiring legend Leigh Broxham, should he feature, would make his fifth Grand Final appearance.

From Tony

From the Captain

Last Grand Final

The Stats


2.Jason GERIA, 3.Adama TRAORE, 5.Damien DA SILVA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Zinedine MACHACH, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Connor CHAPMAN, 17.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 19.Daniel ARZANI, 20.Paul IZZO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 22.Jake BRIMMER, 23.Salim KHELIFI, 25.Ryan TEAGUE, 27.Jordi VALADON, 28.Roly BONEVACIA, 37.Kasey BOS, 40.Christian SICILIANO

Ins: 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Zinedine MACHACH