Melbourne Victory was held to a 1-1 draw by City in an entertaining Derby in the Isuzu UTE A-League on Saturday.
Marco Rojas opened the scoring in the first half at AAMI Park, where Victory had numerous chances.
But Curtis Good’s header at the end of the half brought City level and neither team could find a winner.
Victory created a decent chance in the 13th minute through the in-form Nick D’Agostino.
D’Agostino, called up to the Socceroos squad, brilliantly brought down a long pass from Jason Davidson, but City cleared before he could get a shot away.
Victory opened the scoring in the 19th minute through Rojas’ second league goal of the season.
Ben Folami produced a brilliant run before playing in Rojas, who finished underneath City goalkeeper Tom Glover to make it 1-0.
D’Agostino had an opportunity to double the lead nine minutes later, heading a cross from the impressive Folami over the crossbar.
The forward was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet before half-time, slipping at a key moment just as he was about to shoot after rounding Glover.
Instead, City equalised as Good headed in a delivery from Florin Berenguer at the front post.
Both teams struggled to create many chances of note immediately after the interval, with Jake Brimmer directing a 20-yard free-kick directly at Glover in the 64th minute.
Just two minutes later and there was an even better opportunity for Victory.
Folami found space down the left before crossing to Josh Brillante, whose strike was well blocked by City defender Nuno Reis.
Jamie Maclaren missed a late chance for City and Good hit the post in additional time as the spoils were shared.
What they said – D’Agostino
on the game…
“I think (we had the better of the 90 minutes). It’s always a tough game, it’s a Derby game, everyone’s up for it, but we had a lot of chances, especially myself in the first half that I should have put away. We knew they were always going to come back strong in the second half, but the boys dug deep and we managed to get a point tonight.”
on missed chances…
“I’ve got to be more clinical in front of goal. That’s what it comes down to. It’s a bit disappointing, there’s always the next game and the boys, I couldn’t be prouder of the lads and the desperation we showed.”
Player in focus
Rojas was excellent for Victory. The Kiwi scored the opener and constantly threatened in a performance that could have delivered more than one goal involvement.
Holding multiple games in hand on each of the teams above it, Victory sits sixth on the table.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 18
City 1 (Curtis Good 45′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Marco Rojas 19′)
City: Glover (gk); Jenkinson, Reis, Good, Jamieson (c) (Bos 87′); O’Neill, Metcalfe; Nabbout, Berenguer, Tilio (Colakovski 74′); Maclaren.
Melbourne Victory: Kelava (gk); Geria, Roderick, Spiranovic, Davidson; Brillante (c), Marchan (Broxham 60′); Rojas (Velupillay 84′), Brimmer (Margiotta 84′), Folami; D’Agostino.
Yellow cards: Roderick 29′, Tilio 42′, Reis 63′, Jenkinson 72′, D’Agostino 83′, Colakovski 90′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory hosts Western United at AAMI Park on Wednesday in a game that is set to mark Club great Leigh Broxham’s 350th Isuzu UTE A-League appearance.