20/04/2024

The Melbourne Victory are FFA Cup winners for the second time. (Photo: FFA Cup/Twitter)

Marco Rojas' brilliance has helped propel Melbourne Victory to their second FFA Cup win in the club's history, as they defeated the Mariners 2-1.

Tony Popovic has finally added a previously elusive FFA Cup to his trophy-laden cabinet, as his Melbourne Victory defeated the Central Coast Mariners 2-1 on Saturday night.

Not deterred by a cacophony of noise built by the Victory’s vehement and boisterous fans, the visitors saw the first sight of goal. Nicolai Muller’s effort only strayed wide of Ivan Kelava’s goal via a deflection, as the Gosford outfit looked to start strong in an effort to claim their first trophy in over eight years.

Marco Rojas cemented himself as a thorn in Central Coast’s side throughout the opening half an hour, regularly targetting Mariners academy graduate Jacob Farrell down the Victory’s right-hand side.

After a teasing delivery from the New Zealander failed to find a teammate, he then called Mark Birighitti into action after leaping to meet a Jason Davidson cross, but the one-time Socceroos goalkeeper made a comfortable save.

An opening half without any goalmouth action petered out, as the Central Coast backline, often porous when under threat, was not tested by a Victory attack that fell well below par.

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Attacking the North Terrace in the second period, Victory duly answered the cries of their fans behind the goal to increase the tempo with a second-half onslaught. A procession of corners in quick succession served to build pressure, as the hosts looked to gain the ascendancy.

In-form winger Ben Folami’s influence on the game grew, becoming the home side’s main avenue to goal, as he searched to continue his rich vein of form that included two goals in as many games leading into the Cup final.

With 20 minutes left to play, Victory got just reward for their dominance. Once again Rojas was integral, as he drew on the edge of the area by Harrison Steele.

Davidson converted the resulting free-kick with aplomb as he found the top corner, a goal worthy of winning any game sending the home fans into a state of pandemonium.


The AAMI Park outfit added a second deep into injury time, when Chris Ikonomidis struck on the half-volley to send the home fans into a frenzy, as the front row stormed past security to celebrate.

Almost simultaneously, former Victory hero Oliver Bozanic halved Victory’s deficit, setting up a grandstand finish.

Despite the scare, the hosts saw out the final minute comfortably, thus securing their first piece of men’s silverware since 2018, and qualification to the AFC Champions League playoffs, where they will face Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

Whilst the Mark Viduka Medal was shared between Jake Brimmer and Kye Rowles, Rojas’ tricky play from the Victory right was a pivotal reason behind the club’s second-ever national cup, irrepressible throughout the showpiece final.

Melbourne Victory’s next assignment in the league will be a trip to Wollongong to face the Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday, while the Mariners will host Macarthur on Thursday evening.

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