Berisha's last-gasp stunner sinks Adelaide as Victory book Semi Final berth
Besart Berisha's sensational 89th-minute volley fired Melbourne Victory to a 2-1 win over Adelaide United in an entertaining Elimination Final at AAMI Park.
Star striker Berisha completed a stirring comeback in supreme style as Kevin Muscat's men booked a date with Sydney FC in next week's Semi Final at Allianz Stadium.
Adelaide had been on track to claim that spot when, after a cagey first 45 minutes, Nikola Mileusnic silenced the home fans by breaking the deadlock in the 57th minute.
But Leroy George responded with a header just six minutes later before Berisha popped up with a superb winner just as extra-time beckoned.
While the Reds were left to rue an eighth successive Finals Series defeat outside South Australia, Victory can look forward to a blockbuster Big Blue next Saturday night as they seek revenge for last year's Grand Final loss.
STORY OF THE GAME
- CLOSE: Ersan Gulum heads across the face of goal from a corner.
- CHANCE: Lawrence Thomas is deceived by a Daniel Adlung, but Nathan Konstandopoulos can't bring it under control at the far post.
- TACKLE: Ben Garuccio's superb sliding challenge nicks the ball off George's foot just as the winger shaped to shoot.
- GOAL! Mileusnic stuns AAMI Park into silence with the opener just prior to the hour.
- SAVE: Thomas makes a smart stop, parrying away Baba Diawara's snapshot.
- GOAL! Victory hit back six minutes after falling behind as George heads in his ninth of the season.
- SAVE: George slides a superb, angled ball into the box that Berisha directs back across Paul Izzo, but the goalkeeper sticks out his leg to save.
- CHANCE: George is caught in two minds and lets a good opportunity go begging.
- GOAL! Just as the clock is set to tick into added time, Berisha conjures a brilliant winner.
Nikola Mileusnic, Adelaide United 57': 0-1
Isaias's quick free-kick from within his own half catches out a napping a Victory defence as Mileusnic peels off Rhys Williams' shoulder and pokes past the onrushing Thomas.
Leroy George, Melbourne Victory 63': 1-1
Kosta Barbarouses twists in and then out on the right flank before dinking a cross into the middle, where George beats Michael Marrone to the header.
Besart Berisha, Melbourne Victory 89': 2-1
Absolutely sublime from Berisha as he holds off Jordan Elsey and acrobatically volleys in a Barbarouses cross that was behind the striker.