Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou rued his side's inability to finish the game, with Sydney FC counterpart praising his men's determination to claim a point
|By STEVE ORME
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou believes a rare off night in front of goal cost his men a certain three points as Saturday's match against Sydney FC ended in a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium.
Victory hit the front in the third minute via a Mark Milligan goal and created numerous other chances but could not bury the hosts, eventually conceding a late equaliser to Yairo Yau.
"I think we had the weight of the chances and it was a frustrating night for us," Postecoglou said.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game up here, a finals-like atmosphere in front of a big crowd and they're obviously desperate for points.
"We had some young blokes we threw out there but I thought we were magnificent tonight and created some great opportunities.
"They had some chances, too from set-pieces in particular, and we kind of needed the second goal just to kill them off but that's probably the only thing lacking in our game tonight because usually the chances we created we'd score at least one of those.
"At 2-0 the game would have been gone but we kept them in the game and they're always threatening from set-pieces, they've got quality delivery there and in the end they got us with one."
Postecoglou praised his younger brigade, who answered the call in front of a raucous 22,233 home crowd.
"I thought our performance was excellent considering we had a 17-year-old and 18-year-old in the full-back positions [Scott Galloway and debutant Dylan Murnane respectively] and we've got a 19-year-old [Connor Pain] playing up front," he said.
"Marco Rojas is not old, we had Leigh Broxham playing at centre-half – that was a side out there that was going to have to find something special to play as well as we did and we did so full credit to the players that were out there today."
Opposing coach Frank Farina, meanwhile, said his side were heading in the right direction after battling back to share the points with Victory.
The draw leaves the Sky Blues inside the finals bubble in fifth, but they could finish the weekend in seventh spot if Brisbane and Perth both win on Sunday.
"We've gotten better," Farina said.
"We're playing 90 minutes without any problems at the moment and we're improving.
"We've come up against a lot of adversity this year and I think the way the players have responded has been fantastic.
"We've still got two games to go [against Western Sydney and Brisbane away] and we're still in with a chance."
Farina praised goalkeeper Ivan Necevski after he was a late replacement for Vedran Janjetovic, who was dropped to the bench after arriving at the ground 20 minutes late due to a traffic jam.
"I thought Ivan did well, he's been waiting for an opportunity and it happened tonight and he didn't really put a foot wrong I don't think," Farina said.
Pressed on his decision to dump Janjetovic, Farina said: "Yeah look he was late but there's no need to discuss it here.
"It's a thing for the club, for the team and for me. I made a decision so it doesn't need to be aired out in the public."