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2016-17 Australian A-League, 2016 Australian A-League
  • Daniel Georgievski (53')

Ten-man Melbourne Victory hold Western Sydney Wanderers

Wanderers' Nicolas Martinez shows his disappointment at the final whistle. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Ten-man Melbourne Victory held Western Sydney to a 0-0 draw, locking in a top-two A-League finish and subsequent home semifinal.

The Wanderers had every chance to utilise their numerical advantage after Daniel Georgievski was shown a second yellow card with 35 minutes to play on Saturday night.

Their failure to capitalise at ANZ Stadium erased any hopes Tony Popovic's fifth-placed men had of catching Melbourne City in fourth and earning a home final, though they are at least now guaranteed a top-six spot.

For the Victory, one point is enough to ensure third-placed Brisbane cannot catch them in their final two games.

Both sides were enterprising but lacked polish in an opening half-hour underscored by the absence of a single shot on goal.

Besart Berisha was later denied his 100th A-League goal by the offside flag, before Vedran Janjetovic was finally called into action to tip over James Troisi's curling effort.

The keeper's next stop was a standout, a brave dive to the left to punch the ball clear just as Berisha went to make contact with Troisi's cross.

To the Wanderers' credit, the hosts would not abate and could well have taken the lead after a Victory mix-up.

Rashid Mahazi, making his fourth start in midfield, delivered a pass straight to Martinez, who drew out keeper Lawrence Thomas but should have done more with it.

Just shy of half-time the well-performing Argentine turned James Donachie to set up Brendon Santalab, only for Georgievski to clear the danger with a timely slide.

Georgievski's next challenge on Scott Neville in the 53rd minute spelt the end of his shift.

The Newcastle Jets-bound defender, who'd already gone into the book for tripping up Japanese winger Jumpei Kusukami in the first half, thundered in and got to the ball first, though his challenge was deemed too reckless and he was promptly removed.

The hosts lifted a gear but could not make their advantage count as the speedy Jumpei made a meal of two excellent chances before Terry Antonis' free-kick was blocked by jack of all trades Leigh Broxham.

As the Wanderers pushed and probed, Victory's reshuffled backline was unwavering, and the scoreline ensured borth sides went home with a point.

Australian A-League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS