Victory held to draw in A-League season opener


Melbourne Victory has opened its Hyundai A-League 2016/17 campaign with a 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar.


Mitch Austin opened the scoring for Victory in the 83rd minute, before 10-man Roar equalised in the 96th minute through Luke DeVere.

Brisbane had captain Matt McKay sent off early in the second half after he received a second yellow card.

The visitors won the battle of possession and controlled the game for large periods, and on another day they might have secured all three points.

Victory handed three players their club Hyundai A-League debuts, with Mitch Austin starting on the left wing and Alan Baro joining former Roar stopper James Donachie in the centre of the back four.

Victory started the better of the two sides, dominating possession and territory in the opening 20 minutes but only having a few blocked shots to show for its efforts.

Brisbane settled into the match and created some opportunities of its own, but the two teams went to the half-time break without registering a meaningful shot on target between them.

The game changed complexion on 66 minutes when McKay was dismissed.

Victory pushed hard for an opening goal and it found the back of the net through Austin when Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s dangerous cross landed in his path.

Against the run of play and with time running out, Brisbane won a free-kick deep in attack. From the resulting cross, the ball bobbled around inside the penalty area before DeVere’s looping shot sailed in.

Victory’s next assignment is a blockbuster Melbourne Derby at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, October 15.


Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Round 1
Brisbane Roar 1 (DeVere 90+6′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Austin 83′)

Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk), Georgievski, Baro, Donachie, Geria, Bozanic (Broxham 76′), Valeri (c), Troisi (Howard 90+3′), Austin (Ingham 88′), Berisha, Ben Khalfallah
Brisbane Roar: Theo (gk), Devere, Brown, Kristensen, Maclaren, Holman (Oar 61′), North, McKay (c), Hingert, Broich (Pepper 73′), Borrello

Yellow cards: Ben Khalfallah 27′, McKay 30’/66′, Holman 53′, Borrello 70′, Georgievski 77′, Brown 78′, Kristensen 81′, Broxham 90+6′
Red cards: McKay 66′
Attendance: 15,805
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane