Melbourne Victory suffered a 1-0 defeat at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Friday night, confirming a fourth-placed finish on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
An early goal from Sydney’s Bobo was enough to ensure a home win for this season’s Premiers in Round 27.
Besart Berisha had the first chance of the game four minutes in.
The striker beat the offside trap and cleverly rounded the goalkeeper, only for his shot to be blocked on the line by Sydney’s Alex Wilkinson.
Four minutes later, Sydney took the lead. Michael Zullo fizzed a cross into the danger area, as Bobo stretched out a right boot, claiming the first and only goal of the game.
Lawrence Thomas had to react well to deny Sydney a second – preventing a glancing header from Alex Brosque in the 17th minute.
Thomas pulled off an even better save in the 31st minute, when Milos Ninkovic was presented with a golden opportunity in front of goal. The Victory keeper got down superbly to his right-hand side, keeping the score at 1-0.
Early in the second half, Terry Antonis picked up the first booking of the match, for bringing down Adrian Mierzejewski just inside the Victory half.
In the 62nd minute, Thomas was called into action once again. A Luke Wilkshire cross found the head of Brosque, who was denied for the second time by the Victory goalkeeper.
Victory had a great opportunity in the 69th minute. Leroy George cheekily lifted the ball over Redmayne and was inches away from equalising – only to be denied by a last-ditch clearance from Wilkinson.
The Wellington match-winner, Kenny Athiu was called off the bench to replace Berisha with just over ten minutes to go.
With time running out, Barbarouses cut inside onto his right foot and fired a shot at goal. On this occasion the curve on the ball took the effort away from the intended target, leaving Victory goalless.
The full-time whistle signalled a 1-0 home win and the end of the regular season for both sides.
Without a win, Victory will finish in fourth on the Hyundai A-League ladder and will play fifth place in an Elimination Final next weekend.
What they said – Carl Valeri
On the result…
“We created a lot of chances. Unfortunately, Sydney produced the goods in the front half and they deserve it. They’ve had a great season – let’s hope we come across them in the finals.”
On Sunday’s Elimination Final…
“Whoever it is, we have to play. We’re going to recover, we have Champions League on Wednesday and we will do our best.”
Hyundai A-League 2017/2018 Round 27
Sydney 1 (Bobo 8’)
Melbourne Victory 0
Sydney: Redmayne (GK), Wilkshire, Buijs (Warland 79’), Wilkinson, Zullo (Retre 72’), O’Neil, Brillante, Mierzejewski, Brosque (C) (Simon 63’), Ninkovic, Bobo
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (GK), Broxham, Williams, Donachie, Deng, Valeri (C), Antonis, Troisi, Barbarouses, George, Berisha (Athiu 77’)
Yellow cards: Antonis 55’, Deng 69’, Bobo 84’
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Victory returns to Melbourne on Wednesday night for its final Asian Champions League game, where it will entertain Shanghai SIPG.