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Extra-time winner knocks Reds out of A-League finals

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Adelaide United has missed out on an A-League grand final berth in heartbreaking fashion after conceding an extra-time goal to Melbourne City to go down 2-1 on aggregate in their semi-final second-leg on Sunday.

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Jamie Maclaren’s 92nd-minute goal sealed a dramatic comeback and tees up the first all-Victorian A-League decider against Western United at AAMI Park on Saturday, City’s third consecutive grand find appearance.

It will be the first all-Melbourne national league grand final since 1998. Melbourne City are also now one win away from becoming the first team to complete consecutive A-League Men premiership-championship doubles

Scores were locked at 0-0 after Wednesday’s first leg at Coopers Stadium and Zach Clough’s wonderful 48th-minute dink put Adelaide in front at AAMI Park, before City’s Marco Tilio equalised in the 74th to take the game to extra time.

Two minutes into extra time, Maclaren held up the ball for Connor Metcalfe and while United’s Michael Jakobsen got in the way of the midfielder’s shot, he didn’t properly clear it.

The shallow clearance fell straight to Maclaren, who buried his 16th goal of the season at the near post to seal the grand final berth and condemn Adelaide to back-to-back semi-final exits.

Adelaide coach Carl Veart said he “couldn’t be more proud of the boys, they gave everything tonight”.

“It’s been a long season and I think in the end we just ran out of petrol,” he said.

“We had some good opportunities in the game to kill it off but that’s football.”

 – AAP

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