Melbourne Victory
Adelaide United
Hyundai A-League Elim. Final
AAMI Park
2018-04-22T08:00:00+00:00
Attendance
15,502
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Gallant Reds suffer Elimination Final defeat to Victory

A disciplined Adelaide United outfit suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to rivals Melbourne Victory in the Elimination Final at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

Nikola Mileusnic fired the Reds in front but his goal was inconsequential as Leroy George soon equalised before Besart Berisha executed a stunning acrobatic bicycle kick to score an 89th minute winner.

Marco Kurz recalled Captain, Isaías, to the starting XI following being rested last week in what was the only change made by the German tactician from last week’s win over Western Sydney Wanderers. 

Adelaide began on the front foot and looked to suffocate Melbourne from playing their natural passing game.

It certainly appeared to work with Adelaide limiting Victory’s attacking quartet from causing any real problems in the first-half.

Marco Kurz’s men pressed high up the park and stayed compact as a unit. Isaías expertly screened the back four in front of Ersan Gülüm and Jordan Elsey who were also resolute.

However, for the majority of the first-half chances were few and far between and it was very much dominated in midfield as both sides went into break goalless.

The disciplined approach to the Elimination Final continued in the second-half for the first 10 minutes until Adelaide broke the deadlock.

Mileusnic’s latched on to a swift free-kick from Isaías and buried his opportunity.

But the lead was short-lived as George headed in Kosta Barbarouses’ pin-point cross.

The match became an end-to-end affair with the scores locked at 1-1, though Melbourne had the clearer chances.

Berisha nearly scored had it not been for the foot of Paul Izzo to deny him from close range.

Though as the game seemed destined for extra-time, Berisha stepped up and scored a sensational volley at the death, in what was a painful way to bow out of the finals series.

Key moments:

57’ | GOAL! Isaías sends a quick free-kick over the sleeping Victory defence to Mileusnic, who runs on to it and clinically finishes beyond a stranded Lawrence Thomas.

Nikola Mileusnic breaks the deadlock for Adelaide

63’ | GOAL: Barbarouses dances down the right wing before having the awareness to pick out George to head home and immediate restore parity.

69’ | Berisha connects with George’s diagonal low cross but the striker’s close-range shot is saved by Izzo’s foot.

89’ | GOAL: Berisha spectacularly scores an acrobatic attempt from another inviting Barbarouses delivery to end the Reds’ season.

Match details:

Sunday, 22 April 2018
Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season – Elimination Final
Melbourne Victory 2 (George 63’ Berisha 89’)
Adelaide United 1 (Mileusnic 57’)
Venue: AAMI Park

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# Club P W D L PTS
Sydney FC 27 20 4 3 64
Newcastle Jets 27 15 5 7 50
Melbourne City FC 27 13 4 10 43
Melbourne Victory 27 12 5 10 41
Adelaide United 27 11 6 10 39
Brisbane Roar FC 27 10 5 12 35
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 27 8 9 10 33
Perth Glory 27 10 2 15 32
Wellington Phoenix 27 5 6 16 21
Central Coast Mariners 27 4 8 15 20
# Club P W D L PTS
Brisbane Roar FC Women 12 9 1 2 28
Sydney FC Women 12 8 1 3 25
Newcastle Jets Women 12 6 2 4 20
Melbourne City FC Women 12 6 2 4 20
Canberra United Women 12 5 1 6 16
Perth Glory Women 12 4 2 6 14
Melbourne Victory Women 12 3 2 7 11
Western Sydney Wanderers Women 12 3 2 7 11
Adelaide United Women 12 3 1 8 10
Group A
# Club P W D L PTS
Melbourne City FC Youth 8 5 1 2 16
Melbourne Victory Youth 8 4 1 3 13
Adelaide United Youth 8 3 2 3 11
Perth Glory Youth 8 3 1 4 10
Brisbane Roar FC Youth 8 2 1 5 7
# Club P W D L PTS
Western Sydney Wanderers FC Youth 8 6 0 2 18
Sydney FC Youth 8 5 2 1 17
Newcastle Jets Youth 8 3 3 2 12
Central Coast Mariners Youth 8 2 1 5 7
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