Theoklitos stands up

Goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos admits he had to play a much bigger role in Melbourne Victory's Hyundai A-League Grand Final win over Adelaide United on Saturday night than he'd expected to.

Goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos admits he had to play a much bigger role in Melbourne Victory's Hyundai A-League Grand Final win over Adelaide United on Saturday night than he'd expected to.

Having been a virtual bystander two years ago when the Victory dominated the Reds 6-0 in the decider at Ethiad Stadium, Theoklitos wasn't quite expecting another one-sided encounter.

But when Cristiano was sent off just 10 minutes into the encounter, Theoklitos believed that he would be in for an easier night after all, especially when the visitors were forced to adopt a defensive approach as a result.

But early in the second half they attacked hard and were desperately unlucky not to score in the 54th minute when it was only Theoklitos' reflex save with his legs that prevented Scott Jamieson giving Adelaide the lead.

And that effort from Theoklitos, who was to be called on again later in the second half once his team-mate Danny Allsopp was likewise dismissed, proved vitally important when Tom Pondeljak scored what would be the match-winner soon after.

"Once Cristiano got sent off I thought it was going to be a quiet night in the office but … when I was called upon I made those saves and the boys in front of me were tremendous again and defended well," Theoklitos said.

"I made a save with my leg and we went up and scored and it changed the game. In saying that Adelaide threw everything at us the last 10 minutes and if they scored one the momentum would've been with them."

As for comparisons between the two titles, neither Theoklitos or striker Archie Thompson, who didn't have quite the same impact this time after bagging an amazing five goals two years ago, were ready to rank them

"It's still sweet, don't worry about that," Theoklitos said. "This one was only a 1-0 win and it was a bit different but we're just as rapt as we were in '07. (I'm) really rapt for all the boys and we've worked hard all throughout the year and to win three titles and two championships in three years is great."

"It probably hasn't really sunk in to be honest, it's always great to win a championship," Thompson added. "We were delighted by winning the league but people tend to only remember the guys or the team that wins the championship."

"We've done that and now everyone's going to remember how dominant we were this year and maybe we only won the league by one goal but we've been dominant in the Major Semi-Finals and obviously tonight was a little bit harder but we got over the line."

Thompson also lauded the efforts of Adelaide to hang in there after Cristiano was red-carded, admitting that he had been concerned his team would concede a goal during the early second-half onslaught.

"I felt like Adelaide did a great job tonight, obviously going a man down and they defended really well and it was a period of the second half when I felt like they were going to nick a goal," he said.

"It took something brilliant to win it and (goal-scorer) Tommy (Pondeljak) again, he's been in three finals, he's got one now so hopefully there'll be many more."