A 10-man Melbourne Victory played out a 0-0 draw against the Wellington Phoenix in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday.
Kristijan Dobras and Luke DeVere hit the woodwork for Victory and Wellington respectively at AAMI Park before the game turned on the hour-mark.
Dobras was sent off for Victory, which managed to close out the game and hold on for a point.
Victory almost opened the scoring in the 15th minute, but Andrew Nabbout’s shot was blocked after a Robbie Kruse pass.
Ola Toivonen was the next to threaten, the forward’s nice control and powerful strike from inside the area pushed away by Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.
Wellington went close in the 20th minute through Reno Piscopo, who skied a volley from inside the area.
An Ulises Davila corner hit the top off the crossbar for Wellington before Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas was forced into a diving save by the Mexican seven minutes prior to half-time.
Dobras almost struck on the stroke of half-time, the attacker’s curling effort from 20 yards hitting the post before Toivonen put a free-kick just wide.
Phoenix defender DeVere also hit the woodwork to begin the second half, his powerful header striking the crossbar.
Victory was reduced to 10 men on the hour-mark, with Dobras sent off for a dangerous challenge.
While holding firm defensively, Victory – which introduced Jay Barnett for his debut for the club – had a chance in the 83rd minute as Toivonen curled over from 20 yards.
Player in focus
What they said – Toivonen
on the game…
“It was (frustrating). I think we created some chances in the first half, could’ve scored, post, my chance, maybe three dangerous chances and the red card completely different game and it’s football.”
on the Phoenix…
“They were good, but I think we played with 11 players behind the ball and when we do that I don’t think they create so many chances.”
on the Derby…
“For now recovery and come up with a good game plan, the boss has to do it and we need to execute. I think it was a step forward today compared to Western United, we really worked for each other after the red card and when the decision goes against us like that, it shows attitude in the group.”
Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Round 10
Melbourne Victory 0
Wellington Phoenix 0
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk); Lesiotis, Donachie, Broxham, Traore; Basha (Barnett 75′), Poulsen; Nabbout (Kamsoba 87′), Dobras, Kruse (Roux 90+3′); Toivonen (c).
Wellington Phoenix: Marinovic (gk); Payne, Taylor (c), DeVere, Cacace; Devlin, Steinmann (Waine 87′); Sotirio (McCowatt 81′), Davila, Piscopo (Hooper 69′); Ball.
Yellow cards: Donachie 31′, Steinmann 32′, Basha 34′, Dobras 48′, Nabbout 73′, Sotirio 74′, Toivonen 76′, Broxham 79′, Poulsen 81′, Devlin 86′
Red cards: Dobras 60′
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory faces City in a Derby clash at AAMI Park on Saturday, December 21.