Without nine players through suspension and injury, an understrength Melbourne City has produced a spirited second half comeback to draw 2-2 with Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Jamie Maclaren looked to have the visitors on course for a comfortable victory as his first-half brace had Roar cruising 2-0 at the break.
But even with the likes of Tim Cahill, Bruno Fornaroli, Luke Brattan, Fernando Brandan, Ivan Franjic, Michael Jakobsen and Dean Bouzanis all watching from the stands, City produced a remarkable fightback.
Two goals in the space of three minutes either side of the hour mark saw City draw level and despite both sides creating chances towards the end, neither could find a winner.
The result means Roar stays in third spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder, just two points ahead of fourth-placed City.
0-1 Roar: Jamie Maclaren 34’
The visitors were awarded a penalty after referee Alan Milliner adjudged Josh Rose to have tripped Brandon Borrello in the box. Maclaren went for power, blasting his effort straight down the middle past a diving Thomas Sorensen.
0-2 Roar: Jamie Maclaren 45+1’
Manuel Arana’s clever turn and run pierced the City defence before a well-timed pass into the path of Maclaren, who scuffed his shot but still got enough on it to get past Sorensen and into the corner of the net.
1-2 City: Bruce Kamau 58’
Anthony Caceres showed great awareness to back-heel the ball to Kamau inside the box, with the winger’s low shot sneaking past Michael Theo at the near post.
2-2 City: Nicolas Colazo 61’
After Nick Fitzgerald won a penalty for the home side, Colazo sent Theo the wrong way comfortably sweeping the ball to the keeper’s right.
Just minutes after drawing level, City were under pressure with Maclaren appearing destined to score, only for keeper Sorensen to deny the striker with a crucial one-on-one save. It proved a pivotal moment as the home side held on for what could be a valuable point in their season.
- City’s debutant defender Dylan Pierias became the first player born in the 2000’s to play in the Hyundai A-League at just 16 years of age.
- The draw means Brisbane Roar is now nine games without a win in Melbourne against City [and previously Heart].
8414 @ AAMI Park
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