Jamie Maclaren sealed Melbourne City’s 2-1 victory over Adelaide United in extra time in the second leg of their A-League Men’s semi-final.
- Melbourne City take on Western United in the Grand Final
- Maclaren broke the deadlock 1-1 to send City through
- City and Adelaide United ended in a 0-0 stalemate in the first leg
City are now one win away from becoming the first team to complete consecutive A-League Men’s Premiership-Championship doubles.
Maclaren’s 92nd-minute goal capped a spectacular second-leg comeback and marked the first all-Victorian ALM decider against Western United at AAMI Park on Saturday.
This will be City’s third consecutive Grand Final.
Scores were tied at 0-0 after Wednesday’s first leg in Adelaide and Zach Clough’s wonderful 48th-minute dink gave the Reds the lead at AAMI Park, before Marco Tilio equalized in the 74th minute to extend the match.
It was City’s first win against a top four side in 11 attempts this season.
The first half was largely defined by big saves from Adelaide goalkeeper Joe Gauci and City counterpart Tom Glover.
Then, three minutes after halftime, Javi Lopez found Clough, who took a touch with his left foot then coolly chipped a looping, dipping volley over Glover’s head.
Adelaide nearly doubled their lead in the 57th minute, when Kusini Yengi beat Curtis Good and tried to finish from a tight angle, only to have Connor Metcalfe clear him over the bar.
Patrick Kisnorbo turned on Tilio from the bench in the 58th minute and 16 minutes later Socceroo delivered.
Andrew Nabbout floated in a cross and it went over the head of a leaping Mathew Leckie, but Tilio broke in at back bat and headed home from the post.
In the 84th minute, Tilio charged forward and got ripped with a long-range effort, forcing a brilliant diving save from Gauci.
Yengi tried to hit Bernardo in the 90th minute but the young substitute couldn’t get on target.
After two minutes of extra time, Maclaren held the ball for Metcalfe and as Michael Jakobsen interfered with the shot from midfield, he failed to clear it properly.
The shallow clearance fell straight into Maclaren, who buried his 16th goal of the season at the near post to seal the grand final and condemn Adelaide to back-to-back semi-final exits.