Sunday, February 18, 2007

Melbourne Victory records first A-League double

The Australian A-League saw a night of records in only its second season as Melbourne Victory stormed over Adelaide United in the Championship Cup Grand Final and clinched the A-League's first ever Premiership-Championship double. Led by a red-hot Archie Thompson, Victory won 6-0 to send a monster Telstra Dome crowd of 55,436 fans, an Australian record domestic game attendance, into delirious celebration. In one of the greatest individual performances in Australian soccer history, Thompson scored five goals in the whitewash as a constant roar thundered around the stadiuma nd was a unanimous choice for the Joe Marston medal, awarded to the Grand Final's best player. Captain Kevin Muscat called it a great end to a great season. "To our boys, what a night we're going to have tonight," he yelled. "It's been a tremendous year."

The Foxtel broadcast of the game was viewed by the second biggest audience ever to watch a Pay TV program in Australia. More than 234,000 people tuned in. Melbourne viewers watched the football in greatest numbers, 101,500, with almost 73,000 watching in Sydney, over 41,500 in Adelaide and just 3,300 in Perth. The national audience was nearly 20 percent above the 197,000 viewers who watched Sydney FC win the inaugural competition in 2006.

Adelaide United makes its first venture into the 2007 Asian Champions League against Chinese champion Shandong Luneng at Hindmarsh Stadium, South Australia on 7 March. By finish second to Melbourne Victory in the today's Australian cup final it also qualifies for the 2008 edition of the ACL.

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