The ‘moment of madness’ that cost Victory dearly: ‘It’s put them out of finals contention’

KEEPUP followed along LIVE to bring you all the goals, highlights, up-to-date scores and biggest talking points from the Isuzu UTE A-League on Saturday, April 15.

When Nishan Velupillay’s 56th-minute equaliser hit the back of the net in Wanderland, Melbourne Victory moved temporarily up into ninth spot on the live Isuzu UTE A-League table.

From 0-1 down to 1-1 against fourth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers, the goal was just reward for an excellent start to the second half by the side that began the weekend in 12th; such is the tight nature of the current standings that a point at CommBank Stadium would have moved Victory to within a win of the top six.

Three minutes later, Victory defender Roderick Miranda was sent to the stands for a red card offence, and by full-time, Tony Popovic’s side had succumbed to their 13th loss of the season.

It’s a result that has all-but ended Victory’s hopes of a late dash to the top six.

“They came out firing in the second half, got their goal, just deserved,” noted former Socceroo Luke Wilkshire on the Paramount+ post-game show. “Then, a moment of madness. 

“A brain snap from an experienced player has changed the game.”

Miranda’s red card challenge came in the centre of the park on the cusp of the hour mark, with Victory in command of the contest. The centre-back put one foot in to win the ball out from the feet of Wanderers forward Brandon Borrello – that foot missed its mark, instead collecting Borrello’s standing leg. 

The follow-through was reckless by Miranda, who caught Borrello higher up the leg with his other foot. Referee Chris Beath initially produced a yellow card, but after assessing the incident by the pitch-side monitor, upgraded his original decision to send the Portuguese defender to the stands.

Victory legend Archie Thompson joined Wilkshire on the post-match show, venting his frustration at the 59th-minute send-off that put his former side at a numerical disadvantage which the Wanderers eventually took advantage of, with Borrello combining with Amor Layouni in a moment of class to snatch all three points with an 81st-minute winner.

“He’s an experienced player,” Thompson said of Miranda. “What can you say? That really changed the context of the game – and it’s put them out, really, of the finals contention. That’s meant to be your more experienced player.

“Knowing what was at stake, I’m sorry, you can’t do that.”

“For me there’s no question (it’s a red),” added Wilkshire. “The second leg, the one that catches him up high around the knee… if his foot was planted, it could have been a lot worse.”


Central Coast Mariners 1-1 Melbourne City

MATCH REPORT: City secure first piece of club silverware despite slip in Premiership race in Mariners draw

Central Coast deprived Melbourne City the chance to clinch the Premiers Plate at Industree Group Stadium on Saturday night, fighting back from one goal down to rescue a point and keep second-placed Adelaide United in the hunt to finish top of the table by season’s end.

City’s Jordan Bos and Mariners midfielder Josh Nisbet exchanged second-half goals in the 1-1 draw.

The league-leaders may not have sewn up the Isuzu UTE A-League Premiership on Saturday night, but the point did earn City the Club Championship for the second-consecutive season – the trophy awarded to the club that earns the most regular-season points across both the Isuzu UTE A-League and Liberty A-League.

Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 Melbourne Victory

MATCH REPORT: Wanderers beat Victory to end six-year finals exile