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Stoppage time winner sends Victory to semis

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Melbourne Victory are through to the A-League Semi-Finals as a stoppage time goal gave them a 2-1 win over Sydney FC at Ettihad Stadium on Friday night.

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Victory started the match well with Mark Milligan and Kosta Barbarouses looking dangerous in the opening ten minutes in front of a large home crowd.

In the 19th minute Melbourne Victory had the opener as Alessandro Del Piero gave up possession to Pablo Contreras who was able to find James Troisi, who then sent a perfect ball to Archie Thompson who curled it perfectly around the keeper to open the scoring.

Victory continued to dominate and Barabrouses had the next chance as he was played through, but was denied as the Sydney FC defense covered well, forcing Barbarouses in to a poor shot.

Sydney FC stunned Victory in the 32nd minute as Del Piero was able to send Ali Abbas free down the left wing, which allowed Seb Ryall to run in to the box, and receive Abbas’ cross and send the ball in to the back of the net.

Victory tried to respond and in the 37th minute nearly pulled one back from a corner as Milligan leapt up to head to goal but was denied by a Vedran Janjetovic save.

Sydney went agonizingly close in the 40th minute as Richard Garcia played Del Piero through, only for the Italian legend to miss his chance as he was denied by the post, keeping it 1-1 at the break.

The Second half saw Sydney FC start well with Terry Antonis forcing Nathan Coe in to a save before Matt Jurman’s header from the corner was fantastically saved from Coe.

It was a complete reversal from the first half as Sydney FC dominated the opening stages, with Del Piero looking dangerous, forcing Contreras in to a yellow card, and getting under his skin.

The match increased in physicality as time went on, with the two rivals getting increasingly heated the longer the match remained level, but that, too often, cut down the amount of chances as both sides were able to get forward but were restricted, largely, to set pieces.

But that all changed in stoppage time as a blocked Troisi cross fell to Adama Traore who was able to send the ball back in to the box for Gui Finkler, who opted to pick his spot and put it perfectly in the bottom corner to make it 2-1 with just one minute of stoppage time remaining.

After the goal Victory took Finkler off in an attempt to eat up the rest of the time, but with so little time remaining Sydney couldn’t find an equalizer, which saw Victory through to live another week.

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