Melbourne Victory hold league leaders to a draw

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A strong defensive performance from Melbourne Victory saw the cellar-dwellers draw 1-1 with the Central Coast Mariners in a hard fought match in Gosford.

Victory must have learnt from their Melbourne neighbours as they took a controversial quick freekick and found a wide-open Callum McManaman who raced down the flank, beat Kye Rowles and placed his shot neatly into the back of the net.

Alen Stajcic was adamant the Victory goal should have been chalked off by the VAR as he claimed the ball was moving when the freekick was taken.

“To hit a moving ball and score from it, that has to be picked up, that’s not an opinion it’s just a fact”  said Stajcic.

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The Mariners finally seemed to come into the game after the goal and, after a few half chances, in the 30th minute Daniel Bouman got rid of his defender and put in a through ball for Urena who slotted it past Matthew Acton to level the score.

The second half started with plenty of action as Matt Simon latched onto a bad back-pass and won the ball after a challenge with the keeper, but the ball spun out of his reach and the Victory defence was able to scramble touch it out.

Melbourne’s game plan became pretty evident in the 55th minute as they began time wasting and seeking to play as little football as possible. The strategy worked at frustrating the Mariners as well as the fans in attendance.

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Grant Brebner was proud of the way his team played as they showed a fight and determination that had been missing in past weeks. The “game management” was something that he had spoken with his players about.

The Mariners only had themselves to blame for not putting away the match with endless amounts of crosses put into the box for no reward, while the Victory can be proud of taking a point from the league leaders.

“We had enough ball, enough territory, enough possession, we just lacked that cutting edge in the penalty box”  said Stajcic.

 

Stadium: Central Coast Stadium
Central Coast Mariners: 1 (Urena 30’)
Melbourne Victory: 1 (McManaman 20’)

Central Coast Mariners: Mark Birighitti, Stefan Nigro, Gianni Stensness (Nisbet 45’), Oliver Bozanic (Casella 87’), Daniel De Silva (Janota 79’), Jack Clisby, Marcos Urena (Kuol 79’), Daniel Bouman, Kye Rowles, Matt Simon, Ruon Tongyik
Substitutes: Joshua Nisbet, Michal Janota, Daniel Hall, Matthew Hatch, Jaden Casella, Alou Kuol, Adam Pearce

Melbourne Victory: Matthew Acton, Storm Roux (Anderson 57’), Adama Traore (Markovic 62’), Nicholas Ansell, Callum McManaman, Jacob Butterfield, Robbie Kruse, Jay Barnett, Elvis Kamsoba, Dylan Ryan (Shotton 62’), Jake Brimmer (Kirdar 78’)
Substitutes: Ryan Shotton, Gbenga Folami, Birkan Kirdar, Aaron Anderson, Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, Dalibor Markovic, Maxime Crocombe

Featured Image credit: Ben Johnston

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Ben Johnston
I grew up on the Central Coast and fell in love with football in 2005. Supporter of Mariners, Manchester United and Macclesfield Town.

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