COACH Michael Valkanis said not all was lost after Melbourne City earned a home final but again missed out on an Asian Champions League berth.
Perth Glory edged City 5-4 in a final-round game at nib Stadium on Sunday night as both teams displayed attacking intent that made for a “crazy’’ shootout.
City hung on to fourth spot on goal difference, meaning it will host fifth-placed Glory at AAMI Park in an elimination final. A win would have given it third place and a Champions League spot.
Valkanis was confident his side could take momentum into Sunday’s final.
“They (the players) were disappointed, we’re all disappointed that we didn’t finish third, but there is nothing lost. We lost the battle but not the war,’’ Valkanis said.
“We’ve been very good at home and this season we have fought and battled away from home and the results haven’t gone our way. That’s something we’ll have to look at next season and review and see what we have to do better.
“Now we have a home final, our players love playing at home, our supporters will get behind us and I’m sure will become our 12th man and be right beside us to get over Perth.’’
Glory went for broke, knowing a four-goal win would have put it above City and given it home advantage in the final.
Nebo Marinkovic put Glory 4-1 up in the 75th minute, but City hit back with two goals before Adam Taggart’s 88th-minute goal put paid to a late upset.
“It was a crazy game, a crazy game,’’ Valkanis said.
“I can’t believe how many goals were scored, but I guess both teams were chasing wins, needed to win.
“If you break down what we did, we probably could have had another four or five goals as well, so it’s even more crazy, when you’re going into finals and the game was so open.
“In the disappointment you have to look at some of the positives, especially going into finals now.
“We’ve got to separate the good from the bad because there’s a lot of positives from all of this disappointment where we wanted to finish third.
“But nothing is over and it’s finals football now and we got to look forwards and quickly learn from this game. Get on top of it and start preparing for a final.”
Glory captain Rostyn Griffiths and winger Chris Harold, who started on the bench on Sunday, are likely to come back into the side and Socceroo Rhys Williams could be available.
Originally published as No Asia play but City hit home run
SOURCE: newsnow sport