Classy Victory march into Semi Finals
Published: 03 May 2019 Image credit: Getty Images
3-1 win over Phoenix sets up Sydney FC clashMelbourne Victory's big name players stepped up to the mark to sweep away Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at AAMI Stadium.
Goals from Georg Niedermeier, Kosta Barbarouses and Ola Toivonen were backed up by a dominant display from Keisuke Honda, to put an end to Phoenix's season.
Golden boot winner Roy Krishna scored his 19th goal of the season to give Wellington hope at 2-1, but Toivonen's world-class finish ended the match as a contest with 20 minutes to go.
An entertaining first-half looked like a stalemate going into half-time, but a sublime delivery from Honda on 42 minutes changed that.
Floating in a free-kick, defender Georg Niedermeier skillfully converted, facing away from goal but directing his header past keeper Filip Kurto's grasp.
8 minutes into the second half, Victory doubled their lead - a sloppy backpass from Mandi played in Toivonen, who passed to top scorer Barbarouses to fire under the onrushing keeper for his 15th of the season.
The ever dangerous Roy Krishna got a goal back for the Phoenix in the 53rd minute, darting in to convert a pacey cross from the left at close range.
But Swedish international Toivonen scored the goal of the game to seal the match - controlling a looping through-ball, he was almost at the byline, 6 yards out but kept his cool to lift the ball over the keeper from an acute angle.
The win sets up a repeat of last year's Week 2, Big Blue against Sydney FC and will seem a good omen as Victory look to retain their title.