Geelong Advertiser, Saturday 13 January 2007, p. 86.
A last minute goal by Dario Vidosic for Queensland Roar denied Melbourne Victory a point in the penultimate round of the A-League at Telstra Dome last night.
Despite the cricket down the road at the MCG, 28,937 fans cheered the Victory on in its final home match.
Victory was without Geelong defender Adrian Leijer and midfielder Grant Brebner, but the league’s top scorers Daniel Allsopp and Archie Thompson and skipper Kevin Muscat returned.
In the tenth minute Allsopp found Adrian Caceres on the right of the area and his fierce shot was just tipped over the bar by debutant keeper Tando Velaphi.
From Kristian Sarkies’s corner-kick Kevin Muscat drove in a shot which the keeper finger-tipped on to the cross-bar.
At the other end Matthew McKay and Damian Mori were only stopped by the combined efforts of Vince Lia and Simon Storey.
But the Victory was punished in 17 minutes when stand-in centre back Steve Pantelidis fell over and Mori thumped the ball past Michael Theoklitos.
This was Mori’s seventh goal of the season and first for Queensland Roar.
In 36 minutes Muscat and Brazilian Fred released Thompson whose cross-shot was just touched away from the onrushing Allsopp by the young keeper.
Three minutes later he pulled off an even better save to deny Caceres at the expense of another fruitless corner for the Victory.
Velaphi has been called up to the Olyroos squad and he was the star of a tightly contested first half, shaded on the scoreboard by the visitor.
Steve Pantelidis resumed for the second half with a heavy bandage as the result of a flying Mori elbow, and Mori had a bandage holding his jaw after another clash of heads.
Pantelidis had to come off after 8 minutes being replaced by Antun Kovacevic recently signed from Oakleigh Cannons.
Leigh Broxham from Knox City was the next to make his debut for the Victory replacing Adrian Caceres.
In its first really coherent attack of the second half, the Victory worked the ball across the penalty area before it was laid back to Muscat whose dipping shot just cleared the cross-bar.
At this stage Melbourne had two-thirds of the possession but nothing to show for it.
Nevertheless Massimo Murdocca nearly doubled the Roar’s advantage shooting just wide after skinning a couple of defenders.
Finally after 79 minutes Fred dinked the ball across and Ben Griffin could only clear it straight to Thompson who poked it past the keeper.
Broxham then stung his fingers with a 30-metre effort and Thompson pushed the ball into the diving keeper’s body.
Then in a smash and grab raid in injury time Dario Vidosic took advantage of a loose ball in the Victory penalty area to score the winner from close range.