Just a couple of days after being told he would be leaving the club this off-season, Thompson steadied himself and popped up with the winner against Gamba Osaka last night.
And not any winner; one that would send his club of 11 seasons to the knock-out rounds of the Asian Champions League for the first time.
Still, Victory contrived to almost throw it away.
In Melbourne Victory fashion we made it nervous to the end
An 84th-minute goal by Ademilson brought the scoreline back to 2-1, ensuring a tricky last 10 minutes for Kevin Muscat’s side.
“We could have probably sealed it but in Melbourne Victory fashion we made it nervous to the end,” Thompson said after holding on.
“It’s massive. Our fifth [Asian] campaign … tonight was perfect.”
Thompson went into the match thinking it could be his last at AAMI Park, but has now booked at least one more chance in front of his adoring home fans.
“It was [Leigh Broxham] that said I’m having more farewells than Johnny Farnham,” he said.
“It’s amazing. All night they were screaming. It was very special. That’s one thing I’m going to miss, the chants.”
Muscat, who backed his forward by starting him in the high-pressure match despite an emotional press conference on Saturday announcing his departure, said he knew a slice of Archie magic was on its way.
“We all had a sense he was going to play a part in some moment that was going to give us some more memories,” he said.
“In the end I think he was quite pleased they got the [late consolation goal], he’ll go down as getting the winner.
“He’ll tell all his followers that got us through to the next round.”
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