A 10-man Melbourne Victory side has held on in a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers at Etihad Stadium.

Mitch Austin’s early sending off disadvantaged Victory for most of the match however Western Sydney couldn’t fully capitalise ending up with a point on the road.

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It was a tight contest to start in the first 10 minutes of the match with both sides conceding fouls resulting in a stop-start game. Austin copped the first yellow card between the two teams.

There was a shot at goal by Oriel Riera during this time but was blocked by Rhys Williams.

It was Leroy George who got a decent shot on target after 15 minutes when he skipped past a challenge, fired at the centre of the goal and forced a save from Vedran Janjetovic who parried and claimed under pressure.

A couple off target efforts from Alvaro Cejudo and Austin with a volley and header respectively transpired within the next few minutes.

It took just 24 minutes for Austin to receive his second yellow card. He was sent off for putting his right leg up to block a quick free-kick by Brendan Hamill which looked like a brain fade by Victory’s winger.

A few moments later George got a yellow for a similar tactic to slow the play to rile Victory supporters even more.

The 33 minute mark provided the first goal of the game as Raul Llorente put lovely weight on his cross to pick out Riera all alone on the far post to head it home from close range and give Wanderers a 1-0 lead.

Some controversy ensued just before half-time as Williams conceded a penalty due to late contact on Jumpei Kusukami.

VAR got put to the test again with Riera waiting a while before taking his spot-kick. After a delay, Lawrence Thomas produced a quality save to his right to keep his side in the contest.

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A counter attack in stoppage time led by George would be the final action of the half.

Two minutes after the restart,Thomas was called into action to deny Mark Bridge after being played through by Kearyn Baccus.

Shortly afterwards a swing and miss clearance attempt by Matias Sanchez gifted Cejudo the chance however his curled effort went wide to the right.

The 49th minute saw Victory grab the equaliser as George got an assist after being dangerous from set pieces all night. His wonderful delivery from a free-kick was met by Thomas Deng who rose to head it in off the post, getting the scoreline back to 1-1.

Ten minutes later, a lashed shot by Cejudo just went off target to the left with a lay-off provided by Riera.

Then shortly afterwards a Roly Bonevacia shot came off the right post with a deflection in it too.

In the 81st minute Jumpei completed some nice dribbling before his shot went wide past the top right corner.

While Wanderers had a fair share of the ball in their attacking half, they didn’t quite have the end product to get a second goal and win the game.

They do edge themselves inside the top four while Victory remain winless after five matches.

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Melbourne Victory 1 (Deng 49′)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Riera 33′)

Etihad Stadium (21,577)

Referee: Peter GREEN
Assistant Referees: Paul CETRANGOLO & Wilson BROWN
Fourth Offical: Lachlan KEEVERS

Melbourne Victory
2. GERIA Jason, 4. WILLIAMS Rhys, 5. MILLIGAN Mark, 11. AUSTIN Mitchell, 14. DENG Thomas, 18. SANCHEZ Matias (7. ATHIU Kenjok 72′) 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 21. VALERI Carl, 22. NIGRO Stefan, 23. INGHAM Jai, 41. GEORGE Leroy (16. HOPE Joshua 93′).
Substitutes: 1. ACTION Matt (GK), 15. MCGLIP Cameron, 19. WARING Pierce.

Western Sydney Wanderers
5. HAMILL Brendan, 8. BONEVACIA Rolieny, 9. RIERA Oriol, 10. CEJUDO Alvaro (11. SANTALAB Brendon 68′), 14. KUSUKAMI Jumpei, 15. BACCUS Kearyn, 18. CORNTHWAITE Robert, 19. BRIDGE Mark (16. SOTIRIO Jaushua 81′), 20 JANJETOVIC Vedran (GK), 22. ASPROPOTAMITIS Jonathan, 24. LLORENTE Raul.
Substitutes: 3. CLISBY Jack, 6. MELLING Jacob, 30. HALL John (GK).

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Liam Watson is covering Melbourne Victory this season while completing Media and Communications at La Trobe University.