2009 A-League Grand Final

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2009 A-League Grand Final
A-League text logo.svg
Event 2008–09 A-League
Date 28 February 2009
Venue Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Man of the Match Tom Pondeljak, Melbourne Victory
Referee Matthew Breeze
Attendance 53,273

The 2009 A-League Grand Final took place at Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia on 28 February 2009.

It was the final match in the A-League 2008–09 season, and was played between premiers Melbourne Victory and runners-up Adelaide United. Melbourne Victory won the match 1–0 and became the winners of the 2008–09 Championship, thus becoming the first team to win the A-League domestic treble, after also claiming the 2008 Pre-Season Challenge Cup, and the 2008–09 Premiership.[1]

The match will always be marred by the 10th minute sending off of Cristiano which ultimately contributed to the loss.[2][3] Similarly Daniel Allsopp was sent off in the 65th minute for an alleged headbutt.[1] The decision infuriated Former Australia international Robbie Slater who was commentating the game "Did the blood coming from Roddy's ear sway it? I thought it was a disgraceful decision and the grand final was ruined." [4]

The Grand Final was the last ever event to be held at the Telstra Dome, the former name of Melbourne's Docklands Stadium. Due to a change in sponsorship, the stadium is now known as Etihad Stadium.

Route to the finals

  Semi Finals Preliminary Final Grand Final
    L1 L2    
1 Melbourne Victory 2 4    
2 Adelaide United 0 0             Melbourne Victory 1
      Adelaide United 1     Adelaide United 0
      Queensland Roar 0  
3 Queensland Roar 2 2
4 Central Coast Mariners 0 1  



With both teams down to ten men for the last 25 minutes, Adelaide were left scoreless with Melbourne taking their second A-League championship medal. Pondeljak's goal earned him the prestigious Joe Marston Medal.

A contentious early red card given to the lone Adelaide striker Cristiano by referee Matthew Breeze saw the Reds go down to ten men by the tenth minute.[2][3] However, Adelaide managed to hold back Melbourne from scoring until Tom Pondeljak scored 23 metres out from goal in the 60th minute to allow Melbourne to take the lead.

Five minutes later, Melbourne striker Daniel Allsopp was also sent off for allegedly headbutting Adelaide's Robert Cornthwaite in an incident in the Melbourne penalty box.[1]

Both Cristiano and Allsopp's red cards were revoked by the Football Federation Australia in a post-match conference.[5]


Melbourne Victory 1–0 Adelaide United
Pondeljak Goal 60' Report
Attendance: 53,273
Referee: Matthew Breeze
GK 1 Australia Michael Theoklitos
RB 5 Australia Sebastian Ryall
CB 2 Australia Kevin Muscat (c)
CB 12 Australia Rodrigo Vargas
LB 7 Australia Matthew Kemp
DM 14 Australia Billy Celeski
RM 15 Australia Tom Pondeljak Yellow card 61'   Substituted off 83'
LM 22 Australia Nick Ward Substituted off 56'
AM 16 Costa Rica Carlos Hernández
CF 9 Australia Daniel Allsopp Red card 65'
CF 10 Australia Archie Thompson
GK 20 Australia Mitchell Langerak
MF 8 Scotland Grant Brebner Substituted in 83'
FW 11 Brazil Ney Fabiano
MF 17 Costa Rica José Luis López Substituted in 89'
MF 19 Australia Evan Berger Substituted in 56'   Substituted off 89'
Scotland Ernie Merrick

Joe Marston Medal: Tom Pondeljak

Assistant Referees:
Matthew Cream
Assistant 2
Fourth Official:
Peter Green

Melbourne V Adelaide 2009.svg
GK 20 Australia Eugene Galeković
RB 16 Australia Daniel Mullen
CB 19 Australia Saša Ognenovski Yellow card 37'
CB 2 Australia Robert Cornthwaite   Yellow card 81'
LB 14 Australia Scott Jamieson Yellow card 56'   Substituted off 73'
DM 15 Ivory Coast Jonas Salley
DM 24 Australia Paul Reid
RW 13 Australia Travis Dodd (c) Yellow card 90'
AM 18 Australia Fabian Barbiero Yellow card 64'
LW 7 Australia Lucas Pantelis Substituted off 63'
CF 10 Brazil Cristiano Red card 10'
GK 30 Australia Mark Birighitti
FW 3 Brazil Alemão
DF 6 Brazil Cássio Substituted in 73'
FW 9 Australia Paul Agostino Substituted in 63'
MF 28 Australia Rostyn Griffiths
Australia Aurelio Vidmar
2009 Champions
Melbourne Victory
Second Title


Melbourne Adelaide
Attempts at goal 15 9
Attempts on target 6 3
Attempts off target 9 6
Attempts - Woodwork 0 0
Keeper saves 2 4
Ball possession 50% 50%
Corners 8 2
Fouls committed 17 19
Offsides 2 1
Yellow cards 1 5
Red cards 1 1


The red card to Adelaide talisman Cristiano after just 10 minutes in the championship decider against Melbourne Victory created a lot of controversy post match.[6] The Brazilian starlet had been warned before that referee Matthew Breeze would send him off if he suspected anything untoward about his heading with flailing arms. He felt as though he was a marked man all season by referee Matthew Breeze[4] " I couldn't sleep after the game." [4]

Fox Sports analyst and Former Australia international Robbie Slater claimed the referee made the wrong call, "ruined" the Grand Final and argued that the A-League should hire an elite overseas official to handle its championship game.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c O'Brien, Bren (28 February 2009). "Victory prevail in epic". A-League.com.au. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b O'Brien, Bren (28 February 2009). "Vidmar: Red card killed us". A-League.com.au. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  3. ^ a b Taylor, John (2 March 2009). "A-League grand final red card sparks referee import call". Fox Sports (Australia). Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d Taylor, John (2 March 2009). "A-League grand final red card sparks referee import call". Fox Sports. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Reds striker Cristiano's red card from A-League grand final has been revoked". Fox Sports (Australia). 3 March 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  6. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/cristiano-speaks-out-about-red/story-e6frf4hl-1111119004833#.UXYo_bVgecU

External links

  • Official A-League Website
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