Wednesday 09 March 2016

Melbourne Victory destroy Adelaide United in superb Grand Final

Published as Five goal Archie destroys United, Geelong Advertiser Monday 19 February 2007, p. 36

The second A-League Grand final will be known as the Archie Thompson show after the Melbourne Victory striker completed an incredible five goal performance to win the Joe Marston medal and the plaudits of 55,436 fans packed into the Telstra Dome.

He came off to a standing ovation in the 89th minute and his replacement Kristian Sarkies rounded off the stunning evening with a swerving shot.

People will talk about this match for years as the greatest advertisement for the world game since the Socceroos qualified for the World Cup.

Adelaide brought in Greg Owens to replace the suspended Matthew Kemp, with suspended coach John Kosmina confined to the stand.

Ernie Merrick fielded combative Scottish midfielder Grant Brebner, who seemed to have fully recovered from his muscle injury.

Victory opened with an astonishing first half.

Skipper Kevin Muscat began with a fierce challenge on Diego which led to the Brazilian limping off temporarily.

Daniel Allsopp’s charge down the right was ended by a tackle on the edge of the box and Adrian Caceres driven free kick flew behind off the head of Fernando.

Victory got the break through the game needed in 20 minutes when a quick break through the middle saw Brazilian Fred send a delicious through pass to Archie Thompson.

The striker was faced by the onrushing keeper Daniel Beltrame, but he was able to touch the ball delicately with the side of his foot in off the right hand upright.

The lead was doubled in twenty minutes when Allsopp went careering down the right and laid the ball off to the marauding Fred.

The Brazilian delivered another precise pass into the goal area where the predatory Thompson pounced for his second goal.

Thompson is a big game player and this proved it.

Adelaide received a body blow when skipper Ross Aloisi was sent off for his second bookable offence when he ran through Grant Brebner.

If further indication that it was going to be Victory’s night were needed it came when Muscat dissected the Adelaide defence in 37 minutes, and found Thompson who rounded the last defender to complete his hat-trick.

At half time Adelaide removed Greg Owens who had experienced a torrid time at left back, replacing him with Aaron Goulding.

Thompson was sent clear by a quick Muscat free kick but hit the bar with his shot, then he skinned Michael Valkanis to set up Allsopp whose shot was blocked by Beltrame.

Fred thumped the rebound against the woodwork once again.

In 56 minutes Simon Storey won the ball deep in defence and it was transferred forward rapidly.

Thompson started his run early and was clearly offside when the ball was played in to him, but he was allowed to go on and round Beltrame for his fourth goal.

Valkanis was booked for trying to draw the referee’s attention to the replay on the big screen.

It was not Adelaide’s day after Bruce Djite and teenager Nathan Burns combined to get the ball into the Victory net, the assistant referee’s flag at the other end resulted in the ‘goal’ being disallowed.

The Archie Thompson show rolled on when substitute James Robinson and Fred laid the ball on a plate for the striker to score his fifth goal in 72 minutes.

Thereafter Victory toyed with its devastated opponent until Thompson came off for Sarkies who brought the curtain down with the sixth goal.

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