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Dec 18, 2021   |  10:11PM AET

Isuzu UTE A-League report: City 2-2 Victory

Isuzu UTE A-League report: City 2-2 Victory

Melbourne Victory played out an exhilarating 2-2 draw against City in the Derby at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Summary

Victory took an early lead through Francesco Margiotta, but conceded twice in the space of four second-half minutes as Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout struck.

But Nick D’Agostino came off the bench to earn Victory a point with an 81st-minute equaliser.

Maclaren was sent off for City in the dying stages in what was a chaotic finish.

In front of a rapturous crowd, made up predominantly of Victory fans, Margiotta opened the scoring in the 12th minute.

Jake Brimmer played the Italian in behind with a quick free-kick and Margiotta produced a clinical first-time finish into the bottom corner.

Victory looked most dangerous on the counter-attack in the first half, while also showing desperation in defence to deny City clear-cut chances.

Ivan Kelava made a straightforward save from Nabbout in the 34th minute before an excellent tackle from Roderick Miranda denied Maclaren moments later.

City was also almost down to 10 men, with Connor Metcalfe yellow-carded for a studs-up challenge on Josh Brillante, and the decision standing after a VAR check.

Victory was staying compact to begin the second half, but City equalised on the hour-mark, Maclaren tapping in a Nabbout cross at the back post.

City took the lead three minutes later, Nabbout heading in a Marco Tilio cross.

Victory went close to an equaliser in the 73rd minute, D’Agostino forcing a good stop from Tom Glover with a header from Robbie Kruse’s cross.

But D’Agostino would bring Victory level with nine minutes remaining.

A clearance from Kelava put the forward in behind, D’Agostino using his pace to race clear before getting enough on his strike to beat Glover.

Victory piled on the pressure in the closing stages, with Jason Geria almost finding a 94th-minute winner with a volley, before Maclaren was red-carded.

Key moment

What they said – D’Agostino

on his impact…
“I had to come on and do a job, down 2-1. It was tough, they were really putting the pressure on us and our subs had to come on and make a difference and I thought we did that today, we brought the momentum back in the game and it was nice to tuck it away.”

on his goal…
“I’ve been doing it my whole life. It was just instincts, get in front of the defender and put the ball into the back of the net. That’s what I’ve been doing for 15, 20 years now so I’m used to it.”

Player in focus

Roderick was just one of the Victory squad throwing himself desperately at every challenge to deny City, highlighted by an excellent tackle on Maclaren in the first half.

Implications

Victory has still lost just once in the league this season and will finish the round no lower than third place.

Result

Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 5
City 2
(Jamie Maclaren 60′, Andrew Nabbout 63′)
Melbourne Victory 2
(Francesco Margiotta 12′, Nick D’Agostino 81′)

City: Glover (gk); Atkinson, Reis (Griffiths 66′), Good, Jamieson (c); O’Neill, Metcalfe; Tilio, Berenguer, Nabbout (Galloway 84′); Maclaren.
Melbourne Victory:
Kelava (gk); Geria, Spiranovic, Roderick, Broxham (Nigro 79′); Brillante (c), Marchan (Kruse 71′); Rojas (Ikonomidis 39′), Brimmer, Folami (Velupillay 79′); Margiotta (D’Agostino 70′).

Yellow cards: Metcalfe 36′, O’Neill 84′, Berenguer 86′, Jamieson 90+3′
Red cards:
Maclaren 90+6′
Attendance: TBA
Venue: AAMI Park

Next up

Victory is away to the Gold Coast Knights in the FFA Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday, before hosting Western United in the Isuzu UTE A-League on Boxing Day.