Victory break City hearts as last-gasp penalty decides Melbourne Derby
Mark Milligan converted a 96th minute penalty to give Melbourne Victory a dramatic 1-0 derby win over Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Just as the contest appeared set to end in a first scoreless draw in over four years, substitute Milligan punished Dean Bouzanis for a late lapse in concentration to move Kevin Muscat's men within three points of their rivals.
Victory had enjoyed the best of the chances, hitting the bar through Leroy George, but City looked to have done enough to earn a point until the match was turned on its head deep into stoppage time.
STORY OF THE GAME
- The surprises commenced prior to kick-off as Ross McCormack proved his fitness to win a place on the bench.
- Victory applied early pressure with James Troisi testing Bouzanis, before Nathaniel Atkinson was forced to divert a dangerous Jason Geria cross.
- Their dominance appeared destined to be rewarded when Kosta Barbarouses teed up George, but the winger's finish crashed back off the bar.
- Matias Sanchez headed over soon after the resumption and that prompted Warren Joyce to call on McCormack.
- Osama Malik and Bouzanis both came up with big blocks, first from Rhys Williams and then Besart Berisha.
- At the other end, Lawrence Thomas was required to keep out a good opportunity for Bruce Kamau and later flew to tip a curling Nick Fitzgerald effort around the post.
- But when the points looked set to be shared, Bouzanis bundled into the back of Milligan and the experienced international made it count with the match-winner.
Milligan, Melbourne Victory 90'+6: 1-0
Bouzanis spilled a floated free-kick and, in trying to retrieve the situation, caught the back of Milligan, who kept his cool to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot.