NPL wrap: Victory held by Ballarat


Melbourne Victory was held to a 2-2 draw by Ballarat City in the PlayStation 4 NPL2 West on Saturday.

Despite an early goal from Brandon Jansz, Victory fell behind at Epping Stadium after a Shaun Romein penalty and Nelson Salvatore strike.

But Callum Goulding levelled just after the half-hour mark, and neither team was able to find another goal in the Round 27 clash.

Victory head coach Gareth Naven said he was satisfied with his team’s performance despite the draw.

“I said to the boys after the game that I was happy with their performance and their intentions in regards to bringing the ball forward and some stuff that we’ve worked on during the last couple of weeks in training situations where we can get crosses into certain areas,” he said.

“I think that reflected really well. And also some other things such as third-man runs, which you don’t see very often or don’t see executed which enabled us to score a goal today which was nice to see and nice for players to recognise that situation.

“I think the boys had good attitudes and good intentions in attacking areas to try their best to score and obviously always doing that all the time, especially in the second half.

“We had numerous chances where we could’ve converted those chances into goals.

“In saying that, the Achilles’ heel for us and the Achilles’ heel for all youth players is defending, even though I thought at times we defended and scrambled really well at the back, especially in set-pieces against us and in one v one situations as well.

“But those are always going to be challenges for our team and I think those light bulbs are starting to click on a bit within our group to understand that we need to master that.”

Jansz gave Victory the perfect start, his scrappy goal putting the host 1-0 up.

But Ballarat responded, a Romein penalty followed by a goal from Salvatore giving it a 2-1 lead.

However, Victory equalised thanks to Goulding, who finished well from just inside the area after Nicholas Hatzigeorgiou and Pierce Waring combined.

Both teams had late chances but failed to convert as they shared the spoils.

Earlier, Victory’s under-20s secured the title thanks to a 4-1 win over Ballarat City.

Victory finishes the season with a trip to Brunswick City on Saturday, August 26.

PlayStation 4 NPL2 West 2017 Round 27

Melbourne Victory 2 (Brandon Jansz 4′, Callum Goulding 32′)
Ballarat City 2 (Shaun Romein 10′ pen, Nelson Salvatore 12′)