Dino's goal exploits Victory weakness

Dino Djulbic's historic injury-time header that gave Gold Coast United their first ever finals win was the fruit of a set play plucked straight from the training paddock designed to exploit Melbourne Victory's biggest weakness, according to stand-in captain Michael Thwaite.

Dino Djulbic's historic injury-time header that gave Gold Coast United their first ever finals win was the fruit of a set play plucked straight from the training paddock designed to exploit Melbourne Victory's biggest weakness, according to stand-in captain Michael Thwaite.

The Glitter Strip club can thank the inside knowledge of former Victory defender Thwaite and the tact of assistant coach Mike Mulvey for Sunday night's thrilling 1-0 win at Skilled Park.

It was Thwaite and Mulvey who knew the way to make the most of one of Melbourne's notorious downfalls, and they left it to German import Peter Perchtold to send in the perfect cross for Djulbic to rise and nod home the winner in the dying moments.

"It was a set play. We were working on it towards the end of the week and I give credit to Mike Mulvey for that," Thwaite said.

"We knew that Melbourne don't put players on the posts and we just set them up a little bit and either side of the goalkeeper you're pretty much guaranteed to score. It was a set piece, you get a bit of luck but we'll take that."

"We know and they know that they have weaknesses in defending set pieces and we are strong in set pieces," added coach Miron Bleiberg, who was also full of praise for China-bound defender Djulbic after his headline-stealing moment of glory.

"Dino is going to China for probably four times the amount of money he gets from us. He was an unwanted fringe player at Perth, then he went to Germany but the coach didn't want to know of him," Bleiberg said.

"He came back to us and he blossomed. We put him as right fullback because we were short last year and this year he's installed himself as a centre-back."

"He's one of the best in his trade and that's a typical example of what Gold Coast is doing to players. Most of the players that come here just get better and better and Dino is a prime example."

The win capped off a milestone weekend for the young club, who are not only celebrating their first finals win but their National Youth League's second consecutive championship, showing there is plenty of upside to the much-maligned United.

Bleiberg emphasized the magnitude of Gold Coast's success in their first two years of life but was full of praise for the Victory's achievements to date, including their forthcoming Asian Champions League campaign - a level the upstarts are yet to reach.

"People underestimate what is required for a new club into an established competition. What happened to the Melbourne Rebels two days ago at AAMI Park? They had the coach that won the World Cup and all the superstars and it was 43-0. That shows you," Bleiberg said.

"Last year we were knocked out in the first round of the finals and now we went one stage forward. At least we can look back and say over two years, we finished top four twice and made the second round of the finals, which is satisfactory."

"This year Gold Coast United is better than Victory, but overall they are a big club and we wish them all the best in their Asian adventure, which is something we haven't reached yet."