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2018/19 Australian A League, Semifinals
  • Aaron Calver (3')
  • Alex Brosque (43')
  • Leigh Broxham (45'+2' OG)
  • Adam Le Fondre (63' PEN, 68')
  • Milos Ninkovic (88')
  • Ola Toivonen (90'+1')

Sydney FC humiliate Melbourne 6-1 to reach A-League grand final

After a week of epic comebacks, Sydney FC served up a Big Blue belting, humiliating Melbourne Victory 6-1 to march into next weekend's A-League grand final.

Aaron Calver, Alex Brosque and an own goal from Leigh Broxham gave Steve Corica's side a three-goal lead on Sunday night at half time, before Adam Le Fondre bagged a double to deepen the gloom on Kevin Muscat's side.

Milos Ninkovic's late effort made it six, before Ola Toivonen's last-minute header at least put Victory on the board.

In the 50th meeting of Australia's biggest football clubs, only one came to play. Sydney FC were impressive across their entire lineup from the first minute to the last. For that, their reward is rich. The Sky Blues will play Perth for the 2018-19 championship in a much-anticipated decider on Sunday at Optus Stadium.

The magnitude of their success ensures they'll travel west with a full head of steam. This was Sydney FC's biggest finals win, Victory's biggest loss, and a result no one saw coming.

"Maybe not the scoreline but we were very confident we'd go into the game and get the win," Sydney boss Corica said. "I did say at some stage we'd smash some team. It was tonight."

The rout began in the third minute, when the hero of last year's grand final, Lawrence Thomas, put his side on the back foot. Under minimal attention from Calver, the Victory gloveman dropped a corner from Brandon O'Neill off the defender and into the net. Rampaging full-back Rhyan Grant's cross was missed by Victory's defence on 43 minutes, allowing Brosque to lash a sweet volley for Sydney's second.

Worse was to come for Victory, with Broxham heading into his own goal from Siem de Jong's wicked cross with just seconds before half time. Defender Thomas Deng was hooked for striker Kenny Athiu after 55 minutes as Kevin Muscat looked for a foothold into the match.

The closest they came was a penalty shout soon after, when Calver brought Athiu to ground in the box, only for Chris Beath to wave it away.

Playing with three at the back, Victory were always susceptible to further punishment, and it came after 62 minutes when Georg Niedermeier's amateur tackle took Le Fondre to the spot. He converted that and scored five minutes later from another breakaway effort as Sydney ran riot.

Sky Blue favourite Ninkovic looked to have had the final word with his 88th-minute goal, only for Toivonen to score a header amid Bronx cheers.

After the match, which ended Carl Valeri's A-League career, Muscat offered an apology to fans.

"We had a very off night. Sometimes that happens in sport," he said. "Tonight was certainly a low. "We're a proud football club. We're hurting."