Victory secure third place

Archie Thompson's late strike saw Melbourne Victory defeat Wellington Phoenix 3-2 at Westpac Stadium on Sunday, a result that sees Ange Postecoglou's side finish the regular season in third.

Archie Thompson's late strike saw Melbourne Victory defeat Wellington Phoenix 3-2 at Westpac Stadium on Sunday, a result that sees Ange Postecoglou's side finish the regular season in third.

Thompson produced an emphatic left-foot finish with seven minutes to play that killed off the Phoenix, who had staged a brave fightback in an attempt to avoid finishing on the bottom of the table.

Goals from Marco Rojas and Marcos Flores for Victory had been cancelled out in the space of two minutes by Wellington, as Belgian Stein Huysegems and Jeremy Brockie netted.

But Wellington's response was in vain as Thompson scored for the first time in almost two months for Victory.

They will now play the Perth Glory in a knockout final at Etihad Stadium on Friday evening.

Victory claimed an early lead in Wellington thanks to Rojas' fourth goal of the season against his old club.

Thompson created the goal, with his excellent through ball setting livewire Connor Pain free down the left.

Pain smartly cut the ball back across the face of goal and with Phoenix goalkeeper Mark Paston - playing his last game for the club - in No man's land, all Rojas had to do was turn the ball into an empty net.

Wellington dominated from there on though, with Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe kept very busy by the likes of Paul Ifill, Corey Gameiro and Brockie.

Coe's first save to deny Ifill was excellent while Gameiro zig-zagged through the Victory defence before firing straight at the shot-stopper.

The Wellington onslaught continued as Leo Bertos' free-kick went close, Brockie thrashed a volley wide and then Ifill chipped over.

Phoenix had 12 shots on goal to Victory's two in the first half but it was the visitors who carried the lead into the break.

And that advantage was doubled 11 minutes after half-time when Flores joined Rojas in scoring in all three games against the Phoenix this year.

A corner was flicked on by Daniel Mullen towards the far post, only for the ball to hit Flores and divert in the opposite direction.

Paston got a hand to it but could not keep it out, giving Victory what looked to be an unassailable lead.

Huysegems gave Wellington a lifeline though; chesting down Bertos' cross from the left before volleying past Coe from close range; and Brockie made it 2-2 on 66 minutes with a smart finish.

The equaliser came from a quick transition down the right, with Ifill laying off for the prolific Brockie who needed just one touch to net his 16th A-League goal of the season.

Huysegems nearly fired Wellington in front with a left-foot shot from a tight angle, only for Coe to produce an excellent stop, while it was Victory's turn to be frustrated when Paston denied Leigh Broxham and Rojas with a double save.

But Postecoglou's men did get their winner when Billy Celeski took a quick free-kick that caught Wellington napping.

Thompson turned Manny Muscat with his first touch before firing past Paston to give the visitors a terrific road win.

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Huysegems 65, Brockie 66) Melbourne Victory 3 (Rojas 10, Flores 56, Thompson 84) Crowd 6,813 @ Westpac Stadium