Melbourne Victory take lead in A-League grand final
- Author: Leroy Wright May 07, 2017,
May 07, 2017, 20:13
Josh Brillante, Sydney FC's sixth-in-line to take a penalty, says he had complete confidence Milos Ninkovic would convert the Grand Final-winning fifth attempt.
With scores locked at 1-1 after extra-time at Allianz Stadium, the Sky Blues prevailed to claim the club's third championship.
But Muscat's men seized the lead through Besart Berisha and ultimately took the match all the way to penalties, where they lost 4-2 after 120 minutes of action had finished in a 1-1 draw.
Milos Ninkovic, the Jonny Warren medal victor and star of this 2016-17 A-League season, converted the winning penalty after goalkeeper Danny Vukovic had saved Marco Rojas' spot kick.
Johnny Warren Medal victor Milos Ninkovic has been on the fence about his playing future for months, despite the club's best efforts to keep their star Serbian playmaker.
In a physical and often spiteful affair that saw 11 yellow cards, first blood was drawn in the 20th minute by Victory's superstar striker Besart Berisha, with a stunning individual effort on his left foot.
"I think we have to thank John Crawley for the amount of study he put in", the 32-year-old said.
After the break Sydney were rewarded for a period of sustained pressure when veteran fired a powerful shot that Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas managed to get a glove on only for Grant steamed in for a 69th minute tap-in.
With scores tied, the decider went to extra-time and Melbourne playmaker Troisi came centimetres from a victor - his crisp volley in the 107th minute struck the inside of the left-hand post.
Moments later Carney was brought down and tumbled just outside the penalty area as cries for a penalty went unrewarded with the match needing penalties to decide the victor.
Kosovo global Berisha opened the scoring when he was given space to run at the Sydney defence, turned his marker and unleashed a left foot shot from the edge of the box past Vukovic.