Melbourne Victory midfielder Mark Milligan praised his team-mates for being brave and earning a point with 10 men against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
After making a bright start at Etihad Stadium on Monday night, Victory was reduced to 10 men as Mitch Austin saw red midway through the first half.
Oriol Riera put the Wanderers ahead and had a chance to make it 2-0, only for Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas to save his first-half penalty.
Victory would earn a point thanks to a Thomas Deng header and Milligan said his side showed courage.
“I think apart from the penalty, we didn’t really give them too many clear chances,” he told Fox Sports.
“We’ve had a bit of a slow start to the season, we worked really hard this week on a few things and I think the first 30-odd minutes, we looked more like ourselves again.
“Then, it was grit and determination when we went down to 10 men, to get back in it, to continue working and to continue trying to press them out there takes a lot of courage and the young boys, they had a lot of that.”
The vital moments for Victory came from Thomas, who saved Riera’s penalty and then denied Mark Bridge early in the second half, before Deng’s first goal for the club.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) November 6, 2017
Milligan said his team felt it owed its goalkeeper after his penalty stop.
“You talk about moments in games, whether it’s a goal that lifts (you) or a big tackle from a centre-back, obviously a penalty save is one of the biggest lifts you can get,” he said.
“That kept us in the game and we knew we had to respond for him putting his body on the line.”