Theoklitos stands tall

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos says he thought he was going to be in for a quiet night in Saturday night's memorable Hyundai A-League Grand Final win over Adelaide before ending up the hero after single-handedly keeping the eventual 2008/09 champions in the match early in the second half.

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos says he thought he was going to be in for a quiet night in Saturday night's memorable Hyundai A-League Grand Final win over Adelaide before ending up the hero after single-handedly keeping the eventual 2008/09 champions in the match early in the second half.

After Adelaide was reduced to ten men as early as the tenth minute - after Cristiano was sent off for elbowing Rody Vargas in the head in an aerial challenge - Theoklitos thought his role for the rest of the night was going to be watching his team attempt to break down a packed Adelaide defence.

Instead early in the second half, with the scores still locked together at 0-0, Theoklitos pulled off two great saves in the space of two minutes to deny firstly Scott Jamieson from close range and then Adelaide skipper Travis Dodd.

And the true value of Theoklitos' two saves was shown up just minutes later when Melbourne went down the other end and scored the only goal of the game in the 59th minute through Tom Pondeljak.

A humble Theoklitos - one of six members of Saturday night's grand final squad that also played in the 2006/07 championship win - was merely delighted to have played his part in helping Melbourne become the first A-League club to win two championship titles.

"'I didn-t have much to do but when I was called upon I made those saves and the boys in front of me were tremendous and defended well," he said after the game.

"I made that save (from Jamieson) with my leg and then we went up the other end and scored so it changed the game and then they threw everything at us in the last ten minutes but I was really rapt for all the boys that we held on."

"We have worked hard throughout the year and to win three titles in the one season (the pre-season cup, the Premiers' Plate for finishing on top of the ladder at the end of the home and away season and now the championship) as well as two championships in three years is great."

Theoklitos says he was not surprised Saturday night's match was much closer than Melbourne's 6-0 win over Adelaide in the grand final of two years ago.

"Everyone was building it up as to how many goals we were going to win by but we knew it was going to be a tough game," he said.

"They were expected to lose and probably once Cristiano got sent off (in the tenth minute) I thought it was going to be a quiet night in the office for me but to win 1-0 was a sweet victory and one we will cherish."