Rojas fires Victory
Photo Source: AAP
Melbourne Victory have set up an FFA Cup semi-final with Melbourne City after overcoming a dogged Bentleigh Greens 2-0 in their quarter-final on Tuesday night.
Marco Rojas and James Troisi's second-half goals were enough for Victory to keep alive their defence of the cup.
But to progress to their second-straight final, Kevin Muscat's side will need to overcome their cross-town rivals after the draw for the last four paired the two clubs.
With the semi-finals scheduled for two dates in late October, it means the Melbourne A-League sides will meet just days after their first A-League match-up of the season.
The other semi-final will pair Canberra Olympic, who defeated Green Gully 1-0 on Tuesday, and Sydney FC.
At Kingston Heath, Bentleigh matched the A-League giants for an hour, frustrating them in front of a record 3,754-strong crowd.
Their resistance gave way on 63 minutes, when Victory stole possession and the lead.
Leigh Broxham won the ball well, playing in Oliver Bozanic who crossed for Rojas to bundle home at the back post.
Five minutes later, Muscat's side had their second and a degree of security.
Troisi, Victory's most prominent attacker, turned away from his marker after a short corner and unleashed a strike past goalkeeper Ryan Scott.
A hearty deflection off Troy Ruthven and the crossbar could see the strike credited as an own goal.
The Greens showed themselves to be worthy opponents but failed to seriously challenge Victory's goal despite their organisation.
Muscat said he wasn't excited about the City tie just yet, after what proved an arm wrestle for a chunk of the night's match.
"It was a matter of us having to break them down and win the game," he said.
"They did well to stifle any intensity ... eventually we got that a little bit later than we would have liked."
Beaten coach John Anastasiadis said he couldn't fault his players' spirit but their legs ran out.
"We set out a plan from the start and it worked to a tee," he said.
"Second half, we wanted it but if you make a mistake teams like Victory will punish you hard."