Melbourne Victory lose key player ahead of Phoenix clash

Melbourne Victory will be without their influential midfielder Zinédine Machach for the A-League semi-final series against the Wellington Phoenix.

Machach has been given a two-game ban after being sent off in their win over Melbourne City at the weekend.

The Frenchman was given a straight red card for violent conduct in the 37th minute of the first round play-off game.

Victory progressed to the semi-finals with a 3-2 penalty shootout victory after the game ended 1-1 after extra time.

Machach was given his marching orders for violent conduct, after kicking out at City winger Leo Natel.

The A-League Match Review Panel (MRP) concluded Machach had committed the offence of “assault on a player (e.g. violent conduct when not challenging for the ball) or against any other person other than a Match Official, including an attempted Assault”.

After reviewing the incident, the MRP dealt Machach the minimum two-game ban, ruling him out for both legs of Victory’s Semi-Final with Wellington Phoenix.

Machach has until 2pm AEST on Tuesday to advise Football Australia whether he wishes to refer the matter to the independent Disciplinary and Ethics Committee.

Last month, the Frenchman signed on for another two seasons with Victory.

The 28-year-old has scored seven goals so far this season and is also near the top of the league’s assist category.

The first leg of the semi-final is in Melbourne on Sunday with the second leg in Wellington the following Saturday.

Top seeds Central Coast and Sydney FC meet in the other semi-final.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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