Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat was pleased his team was able to grab a point away to Kawasaki Frontale on Wednesday.
Victory twice came from behind to earn a dramatic 2-2 draw in the Group F clash.
Besart Berisha cancelled out Elsinho’s opener before Leroy George netted a 93rd-minute penalty after Kyohei Noborizato had given Kawasaki the lead for a second time.
Speaking at a post-match news conference, Muscat discussed his team’s performance and the impact of his substitutes, with Christian Theoharous winning the late spot-kick.
on the result…
“We’re naturally very, very pleased. It was a late goal where we got the equaliser. I thought it was a good game of football with both teams trying to attack. Kawasaki are a very good team and for us to perform the way we did and get the draw at the end is very pleasing for us and now we look forward to the return game in Melbourne next week.”
on the impact of Josh Hope, Theoharous and Kenny Athiu off the bench…
“Both those players (Hope and Theoharous) are younger players in our team so they are developing. They’ve played some games – Theoharous has played some games this season, but he has qualities in those situations when he’s one v one against the defender and again from our perspective, it was our attitude of never giving up and always keep persisting and we got the reward at the end, albeit it was one point, but considering everything – the conditions are very cold – against a good team, it was a good point and we were pleased with the contribution of the three players that joined the match.”
on the goals Victory conceded…
“The defending for both the goals, from our perspective, we’re not too pleased about and certainly an area, in those situations, particularly the second one where we can be defending a lot better, but after that second goal, I thought we pushed Kawasaki back. I’ve watched the two games in the J League and also the Champions League and Kawasaki always have 55-60 per cent possession – they love to have the ball – and when we went 2-1 down, I thought we controlled the game, we were having a lot more possession and in the end that possession, that persistence and that will to fight got us the penalty and got us the equaliser so it’s a pleasing night for us from that perspective.”