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Muscat: Victory must move on quickly

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/04/2016 Vince Rugari

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says his side must quickly shift their focus to the AFC Champions League after a heartbreaking end to their A-League championship defence.

Victory dominated Friday night's elimination final at Suncorp Stadium, won the possession battle and had a litany of chances on goal but fell victim to a trademark comeback from Brisbane, losing 2-1.

It was a shattering way for them to end their season but there's little time to dwell on it, with a long trip to China looming and a clash with Shanghai SIPG on Tuesday night that is crucial to their chances of reaching the knockout stages of the continental tournament.

Muscat cut a disconsolate figure after the match but said the quality of his team's performance in Brisbane, despite the result, would help them bounce back.

"We've got to get ourselves up pretty quickly. I shouldn't imagine it would be too hard to pick ourselves back up," he said.

"To be eliminated in the manner that we did and the way we played, I'm very proud of the players.

"What they put in, how they went about the discipline they had to deliver a structure to get on top of Brisbane to limit them to very little at home - it was outstanding.

"I'm just disappointed for them."

The loss marks the final A-League matches in Victory colours for Kosta Barbarouses and Gui Finkler, who have both signed next season for Wellington.

But it doesn't necessarily mean the end of veteran striker Archie Thompson's career.

The 37-year-old didn't make it onto the field against the Roar, and was inundated with messages from supporters after the match who had assumed his time as an A-League player was over.

However, Thompson tweeted after the match: "Thanks for all the tweets. it's very humbling but this lights not been put out yet."

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