Melbourne Victory returned to the top of the A-League Men’s table having played out a 1-1 draw against Sydney FC on Friday night.
A packed AAMI Park created an electric atmosphere for the contest, with plenty on the line for both clubs.
The fans did not have to wait long for the opening goal, as a set-piece for Sydney eventually fell to Jordan Courtney-Perkins, whose finish gave the visitors an early lead.
Victory though did not take long to rebound.
Adama Traore’s overlapping run on the left wing ended in a drilled cross into the box, which after an initial attempt to clear, landed at the feet of Zinedine Machach.
‘Zizou’ made no mistake with the finish, bringing Victory back level.
The end-to-end action continued after the equaliser, with both sides spurred on by the vocal crowd.
Paul Izzo was a key contributor throughout the half for Victory, making a series of important saves.
The next major turning point arose in the final 10 minutes of the half, when Patrick Wood was shown a red card following a challenge on Adama Traore.
Victory used their numerical advantage to dominate possession for the remainder of the half, but were unable to find the breakthrough goal by the time the half-time whilst arrived.
The second half was a tighter affair, with Sydney more focused on maintaining their defensive discipline having been reduced to 10 players.
Tony Popovic eventually turned to his bench in search of what would likely be a vital goal, with Rai Marchan, Chris Ikonomidis and Franco Lino all given opportunities off the bench.
Salim Khelifi was also brought off the bench, making his Victory debut with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Victory continued to barrage the Sydney goal as the game neared its conclusion, but the visitors were resilient in defence.
The home team remained unable to breach the Sydney defence, as the full-time whistle blew with the scores still locked at 1-1.
A point for Tony Popovic’s team which sees them end the evening on top of the A-League Men’s ladder.
Isuzu UTE A-League | Round 15
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Date: Saturday 3 February
Time: 6:00pm (AEDT)
Location: McDonald Jones Stadium