2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Lleyton Brooks (90'+5')
  • Nicholas Ansell (54' OG)

Lleyton Brooks rescues point for Melbourne Victory in derby

Youngster Lleyton Brooks has scored a late equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for Melbourne Victory against A-League premiers Melbourne City at AAMI Park.

After beating Victory 6-0 and 7-0 in their previous two games, City looked set to win all three derbies in a season for the first time via Nick Ansell's unfortunate own goal in the 54th minute, before Brooks struck late.

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"The only thing we can really get a gauge on is where we were from last [time] we played against City," Victory interim coach Steve Kean said. "Since then we've scored 16 goals, we've conceded 18 goals... we're tighter defensively, we're always in games.

"We gave it a good go in our last few games and I've always said I think we should have more points but against a very good side today we've showed we can stay in games, we can create chances and that's credit to the players."

The result means Victory will have to wait for City's rescheduled game against Newcastle -- the timing of which will be confirmed later this week -- to learn if they will avoid a club-first wooden spoon. Victory are a point ahead of the Jets but Newcastle's goal difference is vastly superior.

It was City's first game without Socceroos trio Jamie Maclaren, Curtis Good and Connor Metcalfe, while Craig Noone (soreness) was rested. Patrick Kisnorbo made seven changes to his team, handing a first A-League start to 17-year-old Raphael Borges Rodrigues.

In the 24th minute, Marco Tilio played a classy one-two on the counter-attack with Borges Rodrigues but had his attempted chip well-blocked by Matt Acton. Two minutes later, Acton denied Tilio again.

Victory's Ben Folami then tried his luck from range and caught Glover off-guard but after a fumble, the City goalkeeper recovered. Acton saved Aiden O'Neill's skidding long-range effort but City took the lead less than 10 minutes into the second half. Scott Galloway slipped the ball through for Naoki Tsubaki, who put in a cross that Ansell cut into his own net.

Folami skidded a shot attempt a minute later, while Rudy Gestede blasted shots over the bar in the 60th and 63rd minutes.

City handed a debut to 15-year-old striker Max Caputo while substitute Anthony Lesiotis had a 90th-minute goal chalked off by VAR for offside.

In an injury time goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Brooks, who hammered it home on the volley.

"Sometimes you've got to take the result away and look at the 90 minutes as a game," Kisnorbo said. "Okay, you're disappointed at conceding in the last second but I was really pleased with some things that happened tonight.

"We'll work to continue to get better at it. Young [Borges Rodrigues] played really well, we had 15-year-old Max Caputo come on. So these are the positives of tonight -- plus the way we played."

Victory have one more game left, and as yet unscheduled playoff for a FFA Cup spot.