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A-League grand final snapshot

NZN 7/05/2017 Emma Kemp

SNAPSHOT THE 2017 A-LEAGUE GRAND FINAL

THE OPENING GOAL: Besart Berisha had barely touched the ball before the 20th minute, when he seized possession 30 yards from goal, shimmied past Alex Wilkinson to create a shooting chance and fired a low left-foot strike past Danny Vukovic.

THE EQUALISER: It won't win goal of the season but when Rhyan Grant pounced on the rebound from David Carney's parried shot and stabbed home from close range the momentum swung well in favour of the hosts.

THE KEY MOMENT: Alex Wilkinson skewed Sydney's second penalty wide. But just as all appeared lost, Carl Valeri hit the bar with Victory's third spot-kick and Marco Rojas' fourth was denied by Danny Vukovic. Milos Ninkovic buried the decisive shot.

THE PITCH: Not crash hot but markedly better than it was for last week's semi-final. Parts were returfed just before Saturday night's Waratahs Super Rugby game but rain during that match didn't help.

INJURIES: Defender Alex Wilkinson was the second Sydney player to get accidentally flattened by his own goalkeeper Vukovic. Was groggy for several minutes and left the field for treatment but was allowed back on.

THE STAT THAT MATTERED: Berisha's 20th-minute goal was the equal-fastest grand-final goal in A-League history with former Victory teammate Archie Thompson's opener against Adelaide in the 2007 season-decider.

THE BLOW-UP: Where to start? Forget Kevin Muscat's early spray, an all-in melee kicked off when Milos Ninkovic was brought down by a poor challenge from Leigh Broxham and he ran straight at Carl Valeri. The referee allowed it all to unfold before handing out yellow cards to Ninkovic and James Troisi, along with Filip Holosko, seemingly after a word from the fourth official. Broxham escaped scot free.

THE CARDS: A heated, spiteful contest full of questionable tackles saw 11 yellow cards dealt out. Sydney's Ninkovic, Holosko, Brillante, Carney and Zullo all went into the book along with Victory's Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Troisi, Valeri, Alan Baro, Jason Geria and Jai Ingham.

CROWD: 41,546

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