Thompson thrilled to extend Melbourne fairy-tale

Archie Thompson’s stellar career with the Melbourne Victory is not over just yet as the Big V progressed to the knock-out stages of the AFC Champions League after finishing second in Group G.

Victory claimed their spot in the last-16 after beating Gamba Osaka 2-1 at AAMI Park on Tuesday. Fittingly, Thompson scored the winner on the night.

For the 37-year-old forward, who will depart Victory at the conclusion of the season (whenever that might be), it delays what will be the end of a fine career in Melbourne that has spanned 11 years and included 91 goals across all competitions.

Just in case

Furthermore, Thompson is one of only two Victory players to have featured in all four of their previous AFC Champions League campaigns.

“It was very sweet,” Thompson said when asked about his goal.

“In the context of it, qualifying for the next round, that was the most important thing.

“It’s massive.

“We were close last time (in 2014). We needed to win and we had a penalty shout right at the end at Jeonbuk Motors and we missed that and tonight was perfect.”

After an emotional week looking ahead to his potential swansong in navy blue, Thompson made light of the fact that no-one knew how to approach the scenario that his time with the club could end at any time.

“I’ve got more farewells than Johnny Farnham,” he laughed.

This is the first time Melbourne have progressed from the group stages of the AFC Champions League and it is appropriate that one of their most loyal servants has helped them achieve this feat.