After countless squad rebuilds, six years and five permanent managers, the Western Sydney Wanderers have finally sealed their return to the A-League Men finals.

Brandon Borrello led the charge for Marko Rudan’s men, scoring their first-half opener and setting up Amor Layouni’s 81st minute winner in a 2-1 defeat of Melbourne Victory on Saturday.

Rudan becomes the first manager to pilot the Wanderers to a top-six finish since the man in the opposite dugout, Tony Popovic, was in charge of the club.

“I’m really happy for everyone involved in the club, it’s been a gigantic effort,” Rudan said.

“I thought we played some good stuff and really good football.”

Rudan’s sole gripe with the victory was the lack of support for his Wanderers side, whose achievements were watched by a crowd of 10,788 at CommBank Stadium.

“Knowing the position we are in, we just want to secure a home final and I want to encourage our fans to fill this stadium up,” Rudan said, with his side up to fourth.

“Maybe they (the fans) lost trust in this team … but we’ve flipped the whole thing around.”

The feelgood factor engulfing the Wanders is in complete contrast to Popovic’s side.

Victory will begin a period of soul searching after defeat blew any realistic hope of them reaching the top six.

After Borrello’s goal they equalised through Nishan Velupillay but Roderick Miranda’s send-off shortly afterwards was a hammer-blow for the Melburnian outfit.

A win for Sydney FC over Perth Glory on Sunday will end Victory’s finals ambitions.

“A lot (needs to change),” Popovic said.

“The performance shows we are a good team but if you don’t put away your chances and you make mistakes then you’re going to get punished.”

Rudan’s sole concern, meanwhile, will be a late ankle injury to playmaker Milos Ninkovic, who tested Victory goalkeeper Paul Izzo early in the first half at CommBank Stadium

The reflexes of their No. 1 kept Victory level until the final minute of first-half added time when Ninkovic played a ball over the top for Borrello.

The in-form Wanderers frontman beat three static Victory defenders to the ball and was able to poke past Izzo to give the Wanderers a 1-0 lead at the break.

Velupillay pulled one back for Victory in the 56th minute but their hopes of a comeback were quickly quelled when Miranda was dismissed three minutes later.

The defender lunged in on Borrello as he went on a darting run.

Referee Chris Beath initially booked him but as the Socceroos forward lay on the ground calling for assistance, Beath checked VAR and upgraded his card from a yellow to a red.

Victory began to sit a lot deeper as Popovic reshuffled his side to cover Miranda’s absence.

Yeni Ngbakoto flashed a header wide and at one point it looked as if the Wanderers wouldn’t do it.

But a burst from Borrello up the middle of the field created the space for Layouni’s winner which booked the Wanderers’ passage to the finals.

Source: AAP