Mon, May 1, 11:48am by Head Editor
The semi-finals went to script over the weekend as both the top two teams won through to the 12th A-League Grand Final and a repeat of the decider from two seasons ago. Sydney made it through comfortably with a 3-0 win over Perth, while Victory had to wait until the 70th minute before hitting the back of the net.
It was Besart Berisha who scored that goal against his old club, a goal that booked his new club into a record fifth Grand Final. It would have been a tragedy had his side not made it through to the big dance after they dominated the match, with five shots on target to two.
It was a perfectly weighted cross from Fahid Ben Khalfallah that provided Berisha with the opportunity to score the match-winning goal against a battle-weary Brisbane side who had played some 7,000 kilometres away – in Thailand – on Wednesday night.
Melbourne will head north to take on Sydney in the Grand Final with the support of as many as five thousand fans. A win would give them a fourth Championship, but they’ll go in as big underdogs.
On Saturday night, the all-conquering Sydney FC earned themselves a shot at the double with three first half goals, two of which were referred to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Josh Brillante opened the scoring in the 21st minute with an absolute stunner from 25 metres out, a goal that will be replayed many times in the coming years, and is a contender for goal of the season honours.
Jordy Buijs and Filip Holosko also got on the scoresheet in a dominant performance that could have easily yielded another couple of goals had it not been for the efforts of Perth’s shot-stopper, Liam Reddy.
Sydney will go in as heavy favourites for Sunday’s showpiece, and rightly so, given their record breaking efforts this season. They’ll also have the 2015 decider in the back of their minds, when they lost 3-0 to Victory.
The early odds here see the hosts a $1.57 favourite with the Victory at $4 to win inside the 90 minutes. When it comes to lifting the cup, the Sky Blues are even shorter at $1.39, with Victory at $2.92.
Market settled on regular time (90 Mins + injury time added on by the referee)
Sydney FC $1.57 v Melbourne Victory $4 Draw $3.75
Draw No Bet
Sydney FC $1.33
Melbourne Victory $3.13
Sydney FC (-1.0) $3.25
Handicap Draw (-1.0) $3.75
Melbourne Victory (+1.0) $1.91
Sydney FC / Sydney FC $2.88
Draw / Sydney FC $5.00
Melbourne Victory / Sydney FC $21.00
Sydney FC / Draw $13.00
Draw / Draw $5.00
Melbourne Victory / Draw $13.00
Sydney FC / Melbourne Victory $41.00
Draw / Melbourne Victory $9.00
Melbourne Victory / Melbourne Victory $7.00
To Lift the Cup
Sydney FC $1.39
Melbourne Victory $2.92
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