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Dec 04, 2010   |  2:48AM AET

Cruel draw for Victory

Cruel draw for Victory

Melbourne Victory fought back from a hopeless position only to be robbed at the death in a pulsating 3-3 draw against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night.

Melbourne Victory fought back from a hopeless position only to be robbed at the death in a pulsating 3-3 draw against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night.

Melbourne came from two goals down to lead 3-2 only to concede a third to the competition leaders in the 93rd minute.

The Victory’s goals, two from Robbie Kruse against his former club, and one from Archie Thompson, came in the space of a dazzling 14-minute period in the second half.

The Roar got on the board from a Matthew Kemp own-goal in the 30th minute.

The 29-year-old was making his return to Hyundai A-League action 10 months to the day since he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee,

It was the third-own goal the Victory have conceded in their past five matches.

The best the Roar could muster in the first half-hour was a speculative volley from outside the box by Mitch Nicholls and a tame header from Luke DeVere.

That was until Kemp’s unfortunate intervention.

The dangerous Thomas Broich crossed low and hard from the left aiming for Jean Carlos Solorzano who had Kemp at his shoulder.

The Victory defender dived in ahead of the Costa Rican but succeeded only in deflecting the ball past a stranded Michael Petkovic.

Melbourne would probably have accepted a one-goal deficit at half-time but Brisbane’s second, scored in time added on, was a bitter blow.

It came from a corner, their ninth for the half, fired in from the right.

Mathew Smith’s clean header smashed into the crossbar and rebounded towards Solorzano via a touch from Petkovic.

Solorzano reacted quickest to poke the ball into the net, the last meaningful act of the first half.

After a period of punch and counterpunch early in the second half, the contest was transformed by a brilliant finish in the 63rd minute from Kruse.

Put through by a deft touch from Carlos Hernandez, Kruse rounded his marker Smith and curled the ball past a flat-footed Michael Theoklitos.

It was the spark the Victory needed.

Petkovic played his part with a magnificent save from a Nicholls blast that was headed for the bottom corner.

Not long afterwards, the Victory’s forwards honoured their keeper’s efforts with the leveller.

Thompson provided the finish from a cross by Hernandez that was flicked on by Kruse.

In the 76th minute came the third from a free kick after Hernandez was brought down by Luke Brattan on the edge of the box.

Hernandez blasted the ball through the wall, Theoklitos parried and Kruse was on hand to tap the ball over the keeper into the net to the delight of the 11,886 fans who, to their credit, never gave up all evening.

They were convinced their boys had the points in the bag for what would have been just the club’s fifth win for the season when the 90 minutes ticked over.

But Matt McKay’s goal in the third minute of time added on provided a cruel postscript.

The Roar skipper raced onto a through ball down the middle and scuffed the ball into the net after his initial shot was blocked by Petkovic.

Melbourne Victory 3 (Kruse 63 and 76, Thompson 70)
Brisbane Roar 3 (Kemp og 30, Solorzano 45, McKay 90)