Melbourne Victory’s Hyundai A-League Championship defence came to an end with a 6-1 loss to Sydney FC on Sunday.
Victory fell behind early at Jubilee Stadium and was unable to find a way back into the Semi Final.
Adam le Fondre’s brace and strikes from Aaron Calver, Alex Brosque and Milos Ninkovic – and a Leigh Broxham own goal – saw Sydney to its win.
Ola Toivonen headed in a late consolation goal for Victory.
Sydney opened the scoring in the third minute through Calver, who scrambled a corner over the line from close range.
Victory slowly started to settle and Keisuke Honda had a long-range strike partially blocked into the arms of Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.
In what was an otherwise relatively even start, Victory shot-stopper Lawrence Thomas made a save diving to his left to push away a Rhyan Grant effort in the 15th minute.
Victory settled well after conceding as Honda started to control proceedings in midfield, while Toivonen fired wide on the half-hour mark.
However, Sydney struck twice before half-time.
Brosque volleyed in after another strike was blocked before Broxham diverted a Siem de Jong cross past Thomas.
After Thomas did well to deny Grant, Victory had Kosta Barbarouses head an Elvis Kamsoba cross over the bar.
It almost had a way back into the contest on the hour-mark, when substitute Kenny Athiu appeared to be dragged down in the area, but no penalty was awarded.
Instead, Le Fondre converted a spot-kick at the other end after Georg Niedermeier brought him down.
Le Fondre struck again five minutes later before Ninkovic volleyed in at the back post.
Victory got on the scoresheet through Toivonen, who headed in Honda’s cross in additional time.
Player in focus
What they said – Carl Valeri
on the game…
“They should be very happy with themselves, they outclassed us in every aspect and they taught us a big lesson. Unfortunately, it’s my last lesson that I’ll learn, but one that I’ll try pass on to the younger players. We were disappointing, disappointing is probably spot on, but they were fantastic. I don’t want to take anything away from them. The way they’ve performed over the last five years since I’ve been involved and this year they deserve to go to the Grand Final.”
on the performance…
“It’s hard to put your finger on it. When you cop six, almost seven, probably could’ve been more, I think there’s lots of areas to improve. There’s no nice way to put it and it kills me to say this but it was disappointing, but what I am going to do is take a lot of lessons and hopefully pass it on to the future generations because our fans have been fantastic, you can hear them in the background, we’ve worked hard all season and to go out like this is hard.”
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Semi Final
Sydney FC 6 (Aaron Calver 3′, Alex Brosque 43′, Leigh Broxham 45+2′ og, Adam le Fondre 63′ pen/68′, Milos Ninkovic 88′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Ola Toivonen 90+1′)
Sydney FC: Redmayne (gk); Grant (Retre 71′), Wilkinson, Calver, Zullo; Brillante, O’Neill; De Jong (Caceres 66′), Brosque, Ninkovic; Le Fondre.
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk); Broxham (c), Donachie, Niedermeier, Deng (Athiu 55′); Baena (Valeri 68′); Honda, Antonis, Kamsoba (Roux 73′); Barbarouses, Toivonen.
Yellow cards: Grant 32′, Barbarouses 56′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Jubilee Stadium
Victory wraps up its campaign with a clash at home to Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the AFC Champions League on May 22.