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Victory's Machach wants to make amends in decider

3 minute read

Melbourne Victory gun Zinedine Machach will return from two weeks' suspension for the A-League Men grand final and is determined to make his mark.

Zinedine Machach's reaction to Melbourne Victory reaching the A-League Men grand final can be summed up in one word: relief.

The dynamic French playmaker has spent two weeks cooling his heels and waiting for his chance to redeem himself after a costly moment of madness.

Machach was sent off just 37 minutes into the elimination final against Melbourne City for lashing out at winger Leo Natel, earning a two-week suspension.

A 10-man Victory fought back from 1-0 down to beat City on penalties, then ground past Wellington over two legs, without Machach, to reach Saturday's grand final against Central Coast in Gosford.

"I felt really very sad because I got the red card and I watched my teammates feeling like, 'I can't help my teammates'," Machach told AAP.

"I couldn't play and I felt really sad but I believed in the boys

"Because for me, this team had a character and they scored in the end, they played extra-time down one man and then against Wellington they did the job.

"I'm very happy - I can play now."

The Frenchman, 28, has never played in a cup final - believing his previous biggest games were when he faced Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian superstar Neymar while playing for Marseille and Toulouse.

"It's the first time in my life I'll play a final. I played some semi-finals but never a final," he said.

"I did the training to be ready for the past two weeks.

"My approach is the same - I don't have a (special) strategy - it's one game.

"It's special because it's a grand final, you have to do more. It's one game and I believe in every one of my teammates.

"I hope I score. But more important is that we win. Because when we are together, I think we are the best."

Swashbuckling playmaker Machach is tight-knit with Bruno Fornaroli and has thrived alongside the striker and winger Daniel Arzani.

He has also relished playing with a plethora of fellow French speakers, including Damien Da Silva, Adama Traore, Selim Khelifi and Roderick Miranda.

It's the close nature of Victory's group that has Machach believing they can beat the Mariners for the first time this season.

"They have good players and a good game but we have found solutions (against them)," he said.

"I think each time we play against them, we play better. I have confidence, I have a good feeling.

"When we play together, and we play our football, no one can stop us."

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