Victory, Roar share spoils

The Melbourne Victory Youth and Brisbane Roar Youth have played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Veneto Club on Sunday afternoon.

The Melbourne Victory Youth and Brisbane Roar Youth have played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Veneto Club on Sunday afternoon.

Melbourne captain Aziz Behich opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a cracking free kick, but Roar captain Luke Bratten replied with a wonderful free kick of his own in the 64th minute to ensure the points were shared in front of 366 people.

Both sides pushed on gallantly for a winner, but neither side could land the killer blow and in the end a draw was a fair result.

Behich almost scored inside 10 minutes when he blocked Brisbane goalkeeper Luke Muir's attempted clearance, although much to the relief of the shot-stopper, the ball deflected out for a throw-in when it could have just as easily found the back of the net.

The Roar then produced a number of quality chances with Adam Sarota having the best of them when his 25-yard thunderbolt produced a quality save by Victory keeper Mitch Langerak.

Somewhat against the run of play, Melbourne opened the scoring when Behich found the back of the net from a free kick. Kliment Taseki gave his captain the chance after his mazy run drew a clumsy challenge right on the edge of the penalty area.

Left-footer Behich stepped up to smash a cracking shot into the left corner of the net leaving Muir with no chance.

The Roar had a good chance before the long break but Mario Karlovic, who played for the senior team on Saturday night, could only direct his header straight at Langerak after a great cross from Matthew Byrne.

The Victory captain was once again presented with another two great chances at the beginning of the second half. After being played through his shot was well blocked and from the ensuing corner the ball spilled out to him on the edge of the area. He unleashed a cracking attempt on goal but Muir was equal to the task, producing a wonderful save.

He was left to rue that miss just minutes later when Bratten curled home a quality free kick from almost the exact same position as Behich did in the opening half. Langerak was left with no chance as Bratten directed the ball around the Victory wall and found the bottom corner of the net.

The Roar pushed on after getting the equalising goal and almost hit the front when substitute Jordan Farina had a great chance. After being on the field for just eight minutes, Farina found himself in plenty of space with the goals at his mercy, but his shot lacked direction and Langerak was able to make a regulation save.

With time running out, Melbourne created one of the best chances of the afternoon in the final minute of play and once again Behich was at the heart of it. After spreading the ball out wide, substitute midfielder Antonio La Verde whipped in a great cross which was met by Bradley Norton, but he was unable to connect sweetly and the ball fell to Behich.

However, he blazed his shot over the bar from close range.

The Victory are in action at the same venue next Saturday against Sydney, while Brisbane takes on Gold Coast at Goodwin Park on Friday afternoon.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Behich 25) Brisbane Roar 1 (Bratten 74) @ Veneto Club, Melbourne. Crowd: 366