Callum McManaman’s fine equaliser saw Melbourne Victory draw 1-1 against the Central Coast Mariners in the A-League on Sunday.
McManaman curled in a great strike just after the hour-mark at AAMI Park, where Matt Simon opened the scoring early on.
Neither side was able to find a winner as the spoils were shared.
The Mariners struck early as Simon headed in a Stefan Nigro cross for the opener in the fourth minute.
Central Coast continued to have the better chances and Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton smothered at the feet of Simon after a Danny De Silva pass in the 15th minute.
Acton was also forced into saves by Josh Nisbet, who put a rebound into the side-netting, and Alou Kuol.
But Victory finished the first half well and almost levelled before the break.
Rudy Gestede volleyed a Lleyton Brooks cross wide, McManaman tested Mark Birighitti and Robbie Kruse saw an audacious effort with his back to goal hit the post.
Victory thought it had equalised six minutes into the second half, but Gestede’s header from a Kruse cross was ruled out.
McManaman brought Victory level just after the hour-mark with a classy goal.
A Jake Brimmer set-piece was cleared to McManaman, who curled a wonderful effort into the top corner.
Elvis Kamsoba forced a low save from Birighitti with 10 minutes remaining as both teams pushed for a winner.
Jacob Butterfield almost found the dramatic winner in the 93rd minute, but his spectacular long-range volley was palmed away by Birighitti.
Player in focus
What they said – McManaman
on the game…
“First half we weren’t really at it, we had a few chances, but second half we showed (more), created a few more chances. I think 1-1 was a fair result in the end.”
on his ankle…
“It’s the same one. I think I done it in first five minutes of the game to be honest on the byline. I don’t think it’s too serious, obviously because I carried on, hopefully it’s nowhere near as bad as last time anyway.”
on his goal…
“I think that was the only place I could put it in the top corner, so as soon as I got it, I had it in my head where I was putting it and I knew it didn’t need any power, I just placed it around the defender to use them as a shield so I was delighted when it went in, but just a bit disappointed I hurt my ankle and we’ll take the point in the end. I think it’s a fair result.”
Hyundai A-League 2020/21
Melbourne Victory 1 (Callum McManaman 62′)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Matt Simon 4′)
Melbourne Victory: Acton (gk); Roux, Ansell, Ryan, Broxham (c); Brimmer, Butterfield; McManaman (Lauton 77′), Kruse, Brooks (Kamsoba 74′); Gestede.
Central Coast Mariners: Birighitti (gk); Nigro (Miller 84′), Tongyik, Rowles, Clisby; Nisbet, Stensness, Bozanic (c), De Silva (Smylie 84′); Simon (Bouman 70′), Kuol (Hatch 90+4′).
Yellow cards: De Silva 61′, Roux 90+5′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory is at AAMI Park again on Thursday when it hosts Macarthur.