Melbourne Victory will head into the international break having secured three points and a little slice of history.
With Sunday night’s 4-1 win over Central Coast, the boys in blue became the first side in A-League history to record 100 home victories.
The Club has played officially recognised home matches at five venues since the birth of the A-League, turning out in front of our fans at Olympic Park, Marvel Stadium, AAMI Park, Aurora Stadium in Launceston and GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane to reflect on some of our favourite home match milestones.
It was Archie Thompson who secured our first home win all the way back in Round 5 of 2005/06, his 68th minute strike sinking the visiting Newcastle Jets 1-0; a familiar score line to this day.
Just three weeks later Archie was at it again. Our all-time top scorer found the net twice to have Olympic Park rocking en route to a 5-0 humbling of Sydney FC.
Cult hero Richard Kitzbichler opened the scoring that day, whilst current boss Kevin Muscat added a brace of his own to see the Victory claim Big Blue bragging rights and our third biggest home win.
Season two saw a move to Marvel Stadium, a Big Blue triumph under the roof in Round 2 and, ultimately, Championship glory at season’s end.
Victory finished the season 12-points clear of second-placed Adelaide and the sides couldn’t be split in the first leg of the major semi-final, playing out a 0-0 draw at Hindmarsh Stadium.
In front of 47, 413 fans the following week Danny Allsopp’s 48th minute equaliser brought us level on the night, but we trailed on away goals thanks to Travis Dodd’s 4th minute opener. Enter James Robinson. The Englishman’s 93rd minute header handed his side the win and a home Grand Final berth, writing himself into club folklore along the way.
Two weeks later it was the Archie Thompson show. Adelaide returned to contest the Grand Final in front of 55,000 eager fans fearing another tight contest. They needn’t have worried, as the Reds were blown away by the Victory number 10.
Archie netted in the 21st, 29th, 40th, 56th and 73rd minutes to make for a high-five, before Kristian Sarkies added a sixth exclamation mark to a remarkable day.
The double-winning campaign of 2008/09 produced the Club’s most dominant home winning streak, with the Victory reeling off eight wins in succession to claim the premiers plate and, finally, the Championship itself.
The 2010/11 campaign introduced AAMI Park to the A-League fixture and the Round 6 beating of Brisbane Roar, our third game at the venue, saw three points courtesy of goals from Pondeljak, Ricardinho and Brebner.
Another newcomer that season was Melbourne Heart. They would win the first derby and we would claim the second.
The third meeting of the teams saw a 2-2 draw that started a sequence of 15 unbeaten at home that would stretch into March of 2012, our longest home undefeated streak.
The 2014/15 season will be remembered for the trophies it brought, but the football played to secure them was spectacular.
A 4-1 win against the Wanderers at Marvel in Round 1 was followed by a demolition derby in Round 3, with Archie and Besart Berisha splitting all five goals in a 5-2 win over our neighbours.
We played a pair of back-to-back home classics mid-season, with Adelaide beaten 3-2 at AAMI Park in Round 8 and Archie’s hat-trick ensuring a share of the spoils in a 3-3 draw against Sydney at Marvel in Round 10.
Berisha, Barbarouses and Ben Khalfallah did the damage in a 3-0 defeat of City in Round 16 in front of 40,000 at Marvel, before a trio of home wins capped a marvellous season.
The Mariners were beaten 3-1 at AAMI; City were beaten 3-0 again before 50,000 in a Marvel Stadium semi-final; and Sydney were swept aside 3-0 in the decider at a packed AAMI Park.
4,795 days since Archie won us all three points for the first time in front of our home fans, a fantastic four goals bookends over 13 years of ups, downs, moments we cant forget, premierships and championships in front of the best support in the competition.
First home win: Round 2, 2005/06 – Melbourne Victory 1-0 Newcastle (Thompson ’68) at Olympic Park
Biggest home win: Grand Final, 2006/07 – Melbourne Victory 6-0 Adelaide (Thompson ’21, ’29, ’40, ’56, ’73, Sarkies ’90)
Longest home winning streak: 8 – 21 November 2008 – 28 February 2009
Longest home undefeated streak: 15 – 22 January 2011 – 10 February 2012