Derby ends all square as 10-man Victory hold City
A 10-man Melbourne Victory have produced a spirited performance to secure a 1-1 draw against Melbourne City in Saturday night’s derby at Marvel Stadium.
Victory played the best part of 75 minutes with a numerical disadvantage after Georg Niedermeier was sent off for denying Jamie Maclaren when he was through on goal.
While Maclaren scored from the subsequent penalty to seemingly have City on the way to more derby bragging, Victory’s Kosta Barbarouses equalised early in the second-half to salvage a point for the champions.
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
REPORT: Sydney FC edge Wellington thanks to Le Fondre penalty
EXTRA TIME: Elrich remembers Wanderers' glory days ahead of Popovic's return
City will feel they may have deserved more having hit the woodwork on two occasions.
But the result will do nothing to ease the pressure on City boss Warren Joyce, whose side simply didn’t make the most of their man advantage after the break.
After a tame start, the match sprung to life on 15 minutes with Niedermeier’s brain explosion handing City the initiative.
Maclaren’s pace got him into the box and in front of the German whose clumsy challenge left referee Peter Green with no choice but to point to the spot and send him off.
Maclaren smashed home the penalty to give his side the lead and in the process become the first City player to score in each of his first three games for the club.
Rostyn Griffiths was centimetres away from doubling the lead in first-half stoppage-time as his piercing low drive had Lawrence Thomas beaten but not the post.
It proved crucial as just five minutes after the resumption, Victory were level.
Keisuke Honda was heavily involved, playing a classy pass for Barbarouses to run onto and while the winger took the ball to an acute angle, his shot squeezed past Eugene Galekovic at his near post.
Luke Brattan went closes to winning it with a rasping drive which crashed onto the crossbar but a draw was probably a fair result in a clash that didn’t reach any great derby heights.