A-League: Melbourne Victory 1-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
Ten-man Melbourne Victory salvaged a 1-1 draw with Western Sydney in a pulsating A-League clash in front of 21,577 fans at Etihad Stadium.
Victory played almost an hour a man down after Mitch Austin was sent off, but Thomas Deng equalised early in the second half after Oriol Riera opened the scoring for the visitors just before the break.
The Wanderers were left to rue squandered opportunities, with the most glaring a missed penalty by Riera just before half-time.
Austin received a yellow card in the third minute for a cynical challenge on Brendan Hamill and he was given his marching orders in the 24th minute when he delayed a free kick.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) November 6, 2017
It didn’t take long for the visitors to take advantage.
Star Spaniards Alvaro Cejudo, Raul Liorente and Riera combined brilliantly with Riera providing the finishing touch with a deft header finding the net in the 32nd minute.
But it was Riera who failed to convert from the spot after Rhys Williams brought down Jumpei Kusukami.
The Spaniard was forced to wait nearly three minutes as the decision was reviewed by the video assistant, then he put his low shot too close to Lawrence Thomas, who parried it away diving to his right.
The situation appeared in danger of unravelling at times for the Victory, who picked up five yellow cards in the first half, but they created several scoring opportunities and deserved to draw level.
Leroy George had proved a handful and it was his searing cross from a free kick that created the chance for Deng to get behind the defence and head in off the upright in the 49th minute.
Both sides had chances to take maximum points after that, but Wanderers caretaker coach Hayden Foxe, who will hand over the reins to Josep Gombau, had to settle for a draw to end his five-match tenure.
Both sides were depleted before the clash — Victory without suspended striker Besart Berisha, while James Troisi, Kosta Barbarouses and Christian Theoharous were all on international duty.
The Wanderers were without Josh Risdon, who is with the Socceroos in Honduras.