‘Jesus… I’ve never seen that!’ Secret to incredible finals moment spotted in viral video’s comments

Welcome to A-Leagues life, where KEEPUP brings you all the latest news and goings on at your club. This is how the week is shaping up across the A-Leagues and beyond.

In the 2020-21 Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final, Marco Tilio produced a piece of trickery that co-commentator Andy Harper could only describe as “biomechanically miraculous.”

Two years later, that moment has gone viral again. The Melbourne City forward’s desperate attempt to keep the ball in play in the 2021 title decider against Sydney FC has been viewed over eight million times in five days since its resurgence on the A-Leagues Official TikTok account. 

Tilio rewatched the magic touch in midweek; this weekend, City face Sydney at AAMI Park in an A-League Men finals match for the first time since that Grand Final in 2021, where Tilio played a key role in his side’s 3-1 win over the Sky Blues. 



Tilio says he remembers the particular moment well – but it wasn’t until he read through the comments of the video that he found an explanation to the question on everyone’s lips: how did he keep the ball in play?

“Jesus. That (was posted) three days ago?” Tilio said, watching back the A-Leagues’ TikTok of his magic Grand Final moment.

“I remember it pretty clearly, to be honest.

“Looking back at this, one of the comments says that it falls into where my foot slides. I’ve never actually seen that my foot left a divot in the ground.

“I remember making a run in behind and then Nuno (Reis) tried to play it, and I’ve stretched out to get it and missed it, and saw it’s gone past me. So I had to sprint to keep it in.

“I knew the way to keep it in was to put my foot on top of it. But going at that speed, I didn’t have a choice. I had to sort of slide and yeah, I kept it in.”

With 8.3 million views on TikTok, Tilio’s moment of Grand Final brilliance has the most views of any video on the social media platform from around Australia’s major football codes in 2023.

“I think it looks more spectacular than what I was planning,” he added. “But yeah, it’s pretty amazing.”


2023 most-viewed TikToks in Australian football codes

Tilio and City are in the midst of preparing for Friday night’s Semi Final second leg against Sydney FC at AAMI Park. The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, and the premiers City will fancy themselves as favourites to progress to the Grand Final as they take on the Sky Blues, who finished fifth in the regular season. 

For City fans, Friday night’s Semi Final is the last opportunity to watch Socceroos full-back Jordan Bos in Victoria before his move to Belgian top flight club KVC Westerlo. Bos’ end-of-season departure was announced on Tuesday morning – the $2 million move is a record outbound transfer from Australia.

“I think it’s masive,” Tilio said. “Bos had his opportunity this year to really cement his spot into a good side, and he’s really taken it with both hands.

“As a player, he’s got almost everything. I think he’s superb.

“He’s been so good for us this season and I think he deserves all the accolades he’s gotten, the Socceroos call-up and now his move overseas. He deserves everything that (has) come, and hopefully the can continue his trajectory in his life and his career.”

Tilio heads toward the end of the season with his own future up in the air. Like Bos, Socceroo Tilio has been linked with a move abroad as the 21-year-old nears the end of the latest impressive domestic season in his flourishing career. 

Tilio says at this point in the Finals Series, focusing on performing at his optimal level is what is consuming his focus.

“For me, it’s what I can control and those things I sort of can’t,” Tilio said. “I just have to perform and hope for the best outside of football, so that’s what I’ll look forward to: performing on Friday night, to get this club to another Grand Final. 

“Everything outside of that I can’t control, as I said. I’ll wait until off-season to see what happens, but for now I’m just fully focused to bring home another trophy for this club.”

Aiden O’Neill… the farmer?

You know him as former Premier League prospect, Melbourne City midfielder and a Socceroo on the rise.

But what you might not have known about City midfielder Aiden O’Neill, is that he finds his “absolute paradise” on a 10,000 acre property in Upper Horton, New South Wales.

“It’s somewhere where I just completely switch off,” O’Neill tells KEEPUP.

The property belongs to O’Neill’s family friends – and whenever he finds the time, the City gun will find himself heading back to seek an escape from the footballing world.

“The air is unbelievable, so fresh,” he says. “You look up at the stars, and people who live in the city have probably never seen something like that before. It’s just absolute paradise.

It’s on the property where O’Neill has helped construct fencing, worked with cattle in the yards – and on one occasion, even helped a struggling cow to give birth – an experience he could only describe as “eye opening.”

In a KEEPUP Original, O’Neill delves into his life outside of football, whilst reflecting on his early years spent in the cut-throat world of English football as a rising talent at Burnley – and revealing what brought him home to Australia and the A-League Men.

Watch the full feature below.


Monty calls for Semi Finals goal from Mariners’ newest dad

It was a mad rush to Adelaide and back for Moresche last weekend. The Mariners forward made the trip to Coopers Stadium, coming off the bench to help steer his side to a 2-1 Semi Final win over Adelaide United on Saturday night, whilst his partner was due to give birth.

Moresche made it home in time for the birth of his son, Davi.

Now, Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery wants a goal from the Brazilian on the return leg in Gosford.

“We are really happy for Moresche and his partner Perla,” Montgomery said. “They’ve had a beautiful baby boy called Davi. But yeah, the baby is out now so no excuses for him! 

“I said to him: ‘You’ve got to score a goal now to celebrate’. It’s good for him, and most importantly his family.

“Talk about commitment in the team: Moresche travelled to Adelaide, I gave him the option not to, his wife could have had the baby on Saturday. Lucky he got up early on Sunday and got back in time for the birth.

“But that showed the commitment of the group, and the commitment he had to the team to come to Adelaide and be involved in that game, come off the bench and play in that result.

“I’m really proud of him – and now that’s out of the way, no excuses.”



Markovski bids Victory emotional farewell

I’m not crying… you’re crying!

Maja Markovski’s Melbourne Victory stay has come to an end – and the 21-year-old has accompanied the announcement of her departure after 34 games and three goals with an emotional farewell to the club she’s supported since she was a child.

Victory announced on Tuesday evening that Markovski would depart the club along with Emily Kos and former Matildas defender Gema Simon.

“For as long as I’ve known my heart has belonged to this club,” wrote Markovski on Instagram. “It’s been a long journey and one that starts off as me being a member and fan since I could walk and doing every holiday masterclass under the sun.

“It then quickly progressed to being invited to train with the women’s team as a 14 year old for a few weeks and it took a couple more years of grinding until I earned my first professional contract. The first time I realised this club was special to me was when Archie Thompson retired and I bawled my eyes out over a man I barely knew.

“So many dreams of mine as a kid were achieved playing here, things that are still surreal to me now like playing with my childhood heroes.

“Even though this year wasn’t what we wanted to achieve as a team and personally struggling myself mentally and physically with injury the last two years, I wouldn’t change a moment of my time.

“And because of that it’s going to make leaving extremely hard but I’m grateful to have embarked on this journey with this special club and group of girls and I would like to say a big thank everyone who supported me through out the years.”

Baumjohann returns to the Sky Blues

Alexander Baumjohann is back at Sydney FC!

The 2019-20 Premiership/Championship double winner has returned to the Sky Blues in a newly-created role as the club’s head of player management.

In a club statement, Sydney FC revealed Baumjohann would work to open doors for Sydney FC’s players to moves abroad, as well as negotiating contract agreements for both Liberty A-League and Isuzu UTE A-League clubs, as well as Sydney FC’s academy prospects.

Baumjohann has completed a UEFA certificate in football management and a degree in international sports management since his retirement.

“I am very happy to be re-joining Sydney FC in this capacity and looking forward to helping the club and our younger players progress,” Baumjohann said.

“Sydney FC is developing the best young players in Australia and it is important they are given the right opportunity and support to succeed in their careers.

“The club has the best Academy in the country and I’m excited to be involved in helping to improve their player pathway.”

‘I might have to go to school late!’ Gauci super-fan meets his hero

Adelaide United goalkeeper Joe Gauci has found himself a fan for life in nine-year-old Adelaide supporter Elliott.

It’s not always the keepers who earn the adulation of young football fans – but as a shot-stopper himself, Elliott admires the recently-capped Socceroo for his big saves – and the fact that “he’s really nice!”

Elliott joined Gauci for a special meet-and-greet and goalkeeping session at Coopers Stadium in the lead-in to Adelaide’s Semi Final clash with Central Coast.

Don’t let anyone tell you not to meet your heroes!