Gold Coast dump Victory from finals
A stoppage-time goal by Gold Coast United defender Dino Djulbic dumped two-time champions Melbourne Victory out of the Australian A-League's finals race today. It was Djulbic's header off a corner by German Peter Perchtold which broke the deadlock and kept Gold Coast alive with a 1-0 win before their own fans.
Gold Coast will now take on Adelaide United in Adelaide in another elimination playoff next Sunday. It was the first finals win by Gold Coast and one of their sweetest victories after the war of words erupted following their previous meeting over Victory's physical playing style.
The Victory have contested three of the last four A-League grand finals, but they came into this year's playoffs without a double finals chance following their fifth-place regular season finish. Melbourne will focus on their AFC Champions League opener against Gamba Osaka in Japan on 1 March.
Adelaide United eliminated New Zealand's Wellington Phoenix from the playoffs with a hard-fought 1-0 win in the rain in Adelaide on Friday. Captain Travis Dodd netted the winner in the 70th minute after he was put clear on goal by Adelaide's two leading foreign stars, Marcos Flores and Sergio van Dijk.
Brisbane Roar strengthened their chances of hosting the grand final after a 2-0 away win over the Central Coast Mariners in the semi-final first leg in Gosford on Saturday. Second half goals by Kosta Barbarouses and Matt McKay extended Brisbane's unbeaten run to 26 matches and put them in the box seat to convert their domination of the season into a championship.
The Roar take on the Mariners again in the second leg at home next Saturday.