NPL wrap: Victory picks up point against Lions


Melbourne Victory has earned a PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria point after coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Bulleen Lions on Saturday afternoon.

Will Abbott struck first early in the second half for Bulleen, before a George Howard goal 15 minutes from time ensured a share of a spoils.

Howard returned to the starting XI for Victory, while John Vakirtzis and Josh Hope were also afforded starts at Epping Stadium. 

Victory was in the ascendancy from the get-go, controlling possession and keeping the tempo up.

It went close to cashing in on its possession when Stefan Nigro’s delicate right-footed effort drew a save from the Bulleen goalkeeper.

Captain Joey Katebian followed up with a vicious, swerving shot moments later that made for another nervy moment in the visitors’ backline.

Hope was the next to have the Lions on the back foot – his dash towards the byline preceded a clever pass to Katebian, who could only blast over.

Bulleen weathered the storm and would have broken through but for the heroics of Lucas Spinella, who somehow prevented the ball from sailing into the top corner.

The Lions did manage to break through three minutes into the second half, with Abbott popping up to nod home a loose ball in the 18-yard box.

Katebian and Nigro went close to finding the equaliser, when the latter’s clever dink found its way to Katebian, who sprayed his shot wide.

Howard finally did though, benefitting from a rebound to drive the ball home after Sebastian Pasquali’s initial shot cannoned off the post.

Spinella was called into action one final time, denying Sami Nour’s header from point-blank range.

Victory takes on Richmond SC at Kevin Bartlett Reserve in its next PS4 NPL Victoria match on Friday, March 11.

Earlier, Victory’s under-20 team conceded late to go down 2-1 against Bulleen.


Melbourne Victory 1 (Howard 75′)
Bulleen Lions 1 (Abbott 48′)


Melbourne Victory 1 (Hidic 36′)
Bulleen Lions 2 (Cardamone 13′, Watkins 71′)