Victory's great escape sets up classic

April 17, 2013
By Guy Hand

For Melbourne Victory, it wasn't so much climbing off the canvas as clambering out of the coffin spitting out dirt.

The Victory's extraordinary 2-1 elimination final win over Perth Glory adds one more to coach Ange Postecoglou's growing history of A-League finals escapes.

A match which turned on two late penalties and went into extra-time after the Glory looked like winning for most of it brought back echoes of Postecoglou's two grand final wins with previous club Brisbane Roar.

But don't tell Postecoglou that's about luck.

A coach who instills in his team belief they can win from any situation was not willing to concede his side was fortunate in beating the Glory in a 120-minute Etihad Stadium epic.

"You saw out there at the end of that game, 22 players were absolutely spent. To get a win in that kind of scenario, it's never lucky," Postecoglou said.

"Finals always end up being tense, tight affairs, and that's what makes them so special and so hard to win.

"To win a finals game, every player out there, regardless of how they're feeling, are going to give every ounce of energy and more.

"It was a ridiculous finish, but I've been involved with those before.

"In finals games, the most important thing is that you've got your nose in front at the final whistle - whichever way you can. And we got our nose in front."

The Victory now play Central Coast Mariners - another team which Postecoglou has had the better of in finals matches - next Sunday.

While the Victory haven't beaten the Mariners this season - and were smashed 6-2 in their last meeting - all three clashes have been epics.

The Victory will take heart from torching Central Coast in Launceston in one of those games, though they failed to put them away and drew 1-1.

Whatever happens, Postecoglou believes it will be a far different game and far different showing from his side than against the Glory.

"In finals games what happens in the game dictates how it goes.

"Teams that score first know they've got the upper-hand and can play fairly conservatively. Teams that are chasing the game obviously have to take extra risks.

"It's about how you deal with the circumstances."