Melbourne Victory’s Foxtel National Youth League team looked destined for defeat in their Round 15 clash against Melbourne City on Sunday until Jesse Makarounas delivered a match-saving brace.
City scored in the seventh and 70th minutes of the Melbourne Derby at Epping Stadium through Luka Prelevic and Anthony Rizk respectively and found themselves with a 2-0 lead deep in proceedings.
Despite numerous attacking moves and scoring opportunities, Melbourne Victory couldn’t find the back of the net until the final 10 minutes of the match, at which point they capitalised.
An error by Melbourne City opened the door for Andrew Nabbout to be gifted possession and he in turn crossed to Jesse Makarounas, who was waiting and nurtured the ball into the back of the net in the 81st minute to provide Victory fans with hope.
Then, three minutes later, Makarounas delivered genuine hope when he scored again after finding a path through City’s defence and all of a sudden, the match was all square at 2-2 and with six minutes to play and the boys in blue had a spring in their step and a sense of belief.
The brace by Makarounas was his second in as many Foxtel National Youth League matches after scoring twice in Melbourne Victory’s most recent encounter against Western Sydney Wanderers a week prior.
In the 89th minute, Nabbout found himself open close to goal and had a chance to secure an unlikely victory but a low approach was intercepted by City goalkeeper Marko Stevanja, ultimately avoiding defeat for his City team-mates.
In one of the season’s most intriguing battles, both teams finished the game with ten men after two defenders were sent off in the final five minutes with City’s Archibald handed a red card for an altercation with Nabbout while 19-year-old Dylan Murnane was dismissed following a second yellow card.
The result sees Melbourne Victory one point clear in fifth position with six wins, three draws and six losses from 15 outings, just three points adrift of Adelaide United and the top four.
Melbourne Victory 2 (Jesse Makarounas 81′, 84′)
Melbourne City 2 (Luka Prelevic 7′, Anthony Rizk 70′)