Melbourne Victory is aiming to reach a seventh Hyundai A-League Grand Final when it faces Sydney FC on Sunday.
Victory’s bid for an outright record fifth Australian championship continues with a trip to Jubilee Stadium for a repeat of last season’s Semi Final.
A record four-time Hyundai A-League champion, Victory advanced in the Finals Series courtesy of a 3-1 win over the Wellington Phoenix.
Ola Toivonen starred with a superb goal and an assist, setting up Kosta Barbarouses for Victory’s second.
Barbarouses’ goal saw him move up to five for Victory in the Finals Series – trailing only Archie Thompson (10) and Besart Berisha (six).
Keisuke Honda’s set-piece had been headed in by Georg Niedermeier for Victory’s opener against the Phoenix.
Victory’s stars were rested as a much-changed and youthful side lost 4-0 against Daegu in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.
No Hyundai A-League club has played in as many Grand Finals (six) or won as many championships (four) as Victory, which is meeting Sydney in the finals for the fifth time in six years.
Victory is also bidding to reach the decider for the third straight year.
It could see James Troisi return after the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury against Adelaide United last month.
Player in focus
What they said
“Big, big, really big. I just look at it as something that we’ve got to go there and win. It means nothing if you don’t make it to the final and win the final so that’s the step we’ve got to go there and take and it’s always a big game in Sydney which is exciting. It was last year as well so I’m really looking forward to going there and getting a result.” – Victory defender James Donachie.
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 24
Sydney FC 2-1 Melbourne Victory
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Barbarouses had cancelled out Brandon O’Neill’s opener in the first half at the SCG.
However, Sydney snatched three points through Milos Ninkovic’s 93rd-minute winner.
Head to head
Round 24, 2018/19: Sydney 2-1 Victory at SCG
Round 16, 2018/19: Victory 2-1 Sydney at AAMI Park
Round 5, 2018/19: Sydney 1-2 Victory at Jubilee Stadium
Semi Final, 2017/18: Sydney 2-3 Victory (aet) at Allianz Stadium
Round 27, 2017/18: Sydney 1-0 Victory at Allianz Stadium
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Kick-off: 7.00pm AEST
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14.Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 17.James DONACHIE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI, 24.Elvis KAMSOBA, 25.Anthony LESIOTIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Corey BROWN (promoted), 10.James TROISI (return from injury),