Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory were holding on to third place on the Hyundai A-League table for dear life when they faced Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in the final leg of the 2012-13 Big Blue on Saturday.
The Victory were held to a 1-1 draw against the Brisbane Roar. One player that would not be available for Melbourne was defender Adema Traore, who would be out for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.
“I reckon I can make it now – he’s gone,” Postecoglou told Greig Johnston for melbournevictory.com.au on Friday. “He’ll probably have surgery, it’s quite a significant injury. If surgery goes ahead, depending on what the extent of the repair’s going to be, it could be three to four months out.
“It’s disappointing for him, he’s had a fantastic season for us. I think he’s been the outstanding left-back in the country and a real driving force in our team. All players put in the hard yards so that they can play in the big games come finals time, so for him to be missing is a cruel blow to him because he’s been a fantastic addition to our football club.
“From our perspective, we’ve hit some decent form over the last couple of weeks – we want to continue that on. At some point in the finals series we’re going to have to play an away game if we want to progress, and win away. It’ll be a big crowd, it’s always a great game against Sydney, the crowd turns up in numbers and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Midfielder/Defender Leigh Broxham was confident that the team would be ready to earn all three points, instead of being consigned to a point split.
“It’ll be a good test but we’re ready for it,” Broxham told Johnston. “We’re out to prove a point as well that we can get results away from home, not just here at AAMI Park.
“When we were up there last time we were 2-0 down and a couple of great goals by (Andrew) Nabbout got us back in the game. You can’t rely on that every week. [Sydney] look a lot more disciplined, look a bit more structured than the last time we played them here at AAMI (a 3-1 win in January).
“I’m starting to put a few decent games together. I’m always trying to improve – I’ll look at a game and there’s always stuff to improve in my game. The last couple of games we’ve executed reasonably well what the boss has wanted. If you think of the last time we went up to Brisbane to now, it was a lot more disciplined performance. I think the team’s moving in the right direction and building momentum towards the finals.”
Mark Milligan opened up the scoring in the third minute of play for the visitors. However, Marco Rojas failed—twice—to give the Victory the go-ahead goal that they needed, and so they were indeed consigned to another 1-1 draw, this time against Sydney. Yairo Yau scored the equalizer in the 85th minute of play. Despite the result, Melbourne finish the series unbeaten and win the 2012-13 Big Blue.
Melbourne Victory’s final home game is on Mar. 23 against Perth Glory at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. AEDT.