Melbourne Victory have taken the upper hand in their A-League Major semi final clash with Sydney FC thanks to a 2-1 win in tonight’s first leg.
The Victory, without star striker Archie Thompson, went ahead after 16 minutes at Etihad Stadium when striker Nik Mrdja latched onto a poor defensive header from Simon Colosimo to score.
Their second goal came courtesy of Carlon Hernandez who recently picked up the Johnny Warren Medal as the A-League’s Most Valuable Player. The Costa Rican linked up well with Nick Ward to coolly finish.
Mrdja turned from hero to villain for Victory when he was dismissed for an apparent elbow on Sydney’s Shannon Cole, leaving his side to hold out for the final twenty minutes.
Socceroos star John Aloisi claimed a crucial away goal for the visitors on 76 minutes, converting one of their few chances, to leave the tie nicely balanced going into the second leg at the Sydney Football Stadium on March 7.