Melbourne Victory have farewelled a legend in their 1-1 draw with Jeonbuk Motors at AAMI Park in the club's Asian Champions League Round of 16 first leg encounter.
11,542 fans were upstanding to give the Victory talisman an emotionally charged farewell as his team-mates attempted to give one of the legends of the A-League one final victory.
The home side peppered the goal early with Archie Thompson, Kosta Barbarouses and Besart Berisha all combining well to take the game to Jeonbuk and before long - five minutes exactly - they hit the lead.
As the ball bobbled out of the box from a Jeonbuk clearance, Leigh Broxham attempted a scissor kick back towards the goal which the Albanian striker nodded into the back of the net in front of the rapturous Northern Terrace.
Less than ten minutes later though and those tears turned to jeers as outgoing Victory medallist Matthieu Delpierre brought down the spritely Han Kyo-Won just outside the box.
Enter Leonardo, Jeonbuk’s free kick specialist, who curled it around the wall leaving Lawrence Thomas stranded on his line.
Georgievski had a header on goal a minute later as both sides showed the intensity one would expect from a continental knockout match.
Both sides kept a high tempo in the opening half with Berisha attempted a trademark stopover before blasting over the bar to round up a highly entertaining opening stanza.
And shortly after the restart, Berisha could have had two goals to his name after he narrowly flashed a header wide after some great wing play on the left side of the park.
The Albanian striker was on a hot streak of form and on 50 minutes, could well have again been on the scoresheet after bursting forward with pace before flashing a shot just inches wide of the left upright.
Shortly after the hour mark, it was time to honour the man of the hour - Archie Thompson - in his final game at AAMI Park.
The Victory legend, who racked up 224 games and 90 goals in the navy blue was brought to tears by the passionate supporter farewell, even joining in with the chanting as he wept.
The home side powered forward, with Barbarouses providing spark and with 10 minutes left on the park, Georgievski again flashed a header wide from a corner.
Jeonbuk pushed for a winner late on but spectacular defending from Nick Ancell saw the visitors locked out as they failed to challenge Lawrence Thomas' goal.
Berisha had a chance late on in injury to secure the win but pushed his shot wide.
Melbourne Victory will now travel to Korea next week with either a win or a scoring draw with two away goals enough to see the Australians progress.comments