Melbourne Victory claim A-League championship with narrow win over Newcastle Jets

Melbourne Victory Kosta Barbarouses
Victory are victorious in the decider

Melbourne Victory have claimed the 2017/18 A-League grand final seeing off Newcastle Jets 1-0 in a tight contest. 

In front of a sell-out Newcastle crowd, Victory did their best to silence the home crowd early, striking the fastest ever goal in an A-League grand final.

A Leroy George free-kick found what appeared to be an offside James Donachie, who headed the ball across goal to Kosta Barbarouses with the winger's effort deflected past a helpless Glen Moss in the ninth minute.

That goal kicked the Jets into gear however, with Roy O'Donovan forcing a fine save from Lawrence Thomas less than 10 minutes later.

After a stellar semi-final showing last week, Thomas showed just what good form he is in at the moment when he denied Riley McGree and then Jason Hoffman on the follow up after half an hour.

Though looking a constant threat, the Jets couldn't pull one back after 45 minutes as Victory took a 1-0 lead into the break.

After the interval Kevin Muscat's side took the game by the scruff of the neck with Newcastle struggling to find a way through.

Article continues below

Victory nearly found themselves a second goal in the 68th minute with the Jets forced to scramble the ball off their line and O'Donovan copping a blow to the face in the process.

The Irishman would see red in injury time after he threw out a leg in the penalty box which collected Thomas and left the referee with no other choice. 

The Jets didn't lack for effort in the final few minutes but Victory's experience ultimately prevailed with a gutsy defensive display earning them a fourth A-League championship.