An explosive goal by Costa Rican international Carlos Hernandez put Melbourne Victory on the verge of their second Australian A-League grand final after an emphatic 2-0 away win over Adelaide United. Hernandez opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a rasping drive off the underside of the crossbar and striker Daniel Allsopp sealed the win in the major semi-final first leg with an 89th-minute goal to put Victory in the box seat.
Melbourne, who defeated Adelaide 6-0 in the 2007 A-League grand final, are now strong favourites to progress to the 28 February grand final in the return leg at home next weekend. After an exasperating night for Adelaide's 14,000 fans, this season's beaten AFC Champions League finalists now face the daunting prospect of having to score at least three goals to overturn Melbourne in the second leg.
The loser of the major semi-final will get a second chance in the 21 February preliminary final against either Queensland Roar or Central Coast Mariners. Roar are favourites to progress after winning the away leg of the minor semi 2-0 against the Mariners on Friday with their home leg to come next Friday.