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Graceful Carl Valeri praises Sydney FC

NZN 8/05/2017 Ben McKay

Plenty in navy blue saw injustice in Sunday's A-League grand final result but Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri isn't one of them.

Against premiers and eventual champions Sydney FC, Victory burst out of the blocks and were the dominant side in a bruising first 45 minutes.

Besart Berisha's goal put Victory in front but like two of their previous meetings this year, the Sky Blues reeled in Kevin Muscat's side to end up on top.

Muscat said the result was "gut wrenching" and he wasn't sure how to explain the loss to his players given their enterprise.

Valeri suggested he had no complaints with the final result given his side didn't take their opportunities to claim an upset success.

"I don't like saying (we deserved to win) because they won. It's not fair to take anything away from them," he said.

"We would have won if we deserved to. I'm not going to steal their thunder.

"They created history this season and they should be proud."

Along with Marco Rojas, Valeri was one of two Victory players to miss in the penalty shootout, won 4-2 by Sydney.

In doing so, Valeri suffered the same fate as Muscat, who as captain missed a penalty in Victory's only previous grand final loss - to the Sky Blues in 2010.

Valeri said the sight of his spot kick hitting the woodwork wouldn't be his enduring memory of this grand final.

"We fought so hard this season and one shot hits the crossbar. It doesn't sum us up," he said.

"Bes (Berisha) said it to me after the game, he said 'we win together and we lose together'.

"Penalties are harsh. We know that. That's the business. That's the game we play.

"Although we missed them I'm still very proud.

"Next year I'll be back at it again and I'll be practising my penalties before the finals."

Amid the disappointment, Valeri was able to smile - suggesting the drama of the grand final wasn't lost on him.

"That's why we love it."

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