Allsopp powers Victory

Danny Allsopp has all but booked Melbourne Victory's spot in the finals with a superb brace in the home side's 2-0 win over Gold Coast United at AAMI Park on Sunday evening.

Danny Allsopp has all but booked Melbourne Victory's spot in the finals with a superb brace in the home side's 2-0 win over Gold Coast United at AAMI Park on Sunday evening.

In a preview of a likely first week final, Melbourne dominated the play and thanks to Allsopp's well-taken goals either side of half-time have moved within touching distance of a confirmed spot in the finals, on 40 points, two points adrift of Gold Coast, who have two matches in hand.

Allsopp, who only re-joined the club at the start of January, is now the form striker in the Hyundai A-League, having managed five goals in his past four matches and with Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse set to come back into the side in the next two weeks, Victory will have their best attacking line-up available for the finals.

In close to 40 degree heat, Allsopp scored a cracking goal on 28 minutes from over 25 yards out and then showed his versatility by turning John Curtis in the box and firing accurately with 11 minutes gone in the second half.

Gold Coast struggled to make an impact in the absence of another recent signing Shane Smeltz - a late withdrawal through illness - as well as captain Jason Culina, and the fourth-placed side offered very little in attack as they suffered their first loss in four trips to Melbourne this year.

They lost important midfielder/defender Bas van den Brink through injury and face a heavy schedule with games against Adelaide, Perth, Central Coast and Brisbane in the next 13 days.

Melbourne have just two matches left to snatch fourth spot and secure a home final. The Victory host Newcastle on Wednesday before having a week off ahead of Friday week's clash with Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

Gold Coast suffered an early blow, with van den Brink injuring his knee in the fifth minute and having to be replaced by Kristian Rees, prompting a shuffle up in defence and the midfield.

Melbourne had two chances to take the lead in the first 20 minutes, with Adrian Leijer heading wide before some excellent build-up from Mate Dugandzic gave Tom Pondeljak a chance to score, but he tapped his short just wide.

After a break for drinks at the halfway mark, Melbourne took up the attack again and Allsopp made it four goals from four games when he charged at the Gold Coast defence and found space to power home a shot from 25 yards which Glen Moss couldn't get down to.

Gold Coast got a hold of the midfield late in the half and conjured a couple of decent chances, but Bruce Djite's 38th-minute effort went straight at Michael Petkovic, while Adama Traoare went over from range.

Melbourne reassumed control early in the second half and 56 minutes in, Dugandzic picked out Allsopp, who dribbled around Curtis and shot brilliantly on the turn to make it 2-0.

A hat-trick beckoned for Allsopp and, after having a shot saved on 63 minutes, he fired narrowly wide on 70 minutes. In between, Marvin Angulo went over the top.

The extreme heat saw the tempo of the game drop considerably in the final ten minutes and Joel Porter could have scored twice for the visitors. His first effort was brilliantly saved by Petkovic, while a late header from a corner was cleared off the line by Brebner.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Allsopp 28, 56) Gold Coast United 0 Crowd: 8287 at AAMI Park