A late equaliser from Brisbane substitute Brett Holman has doomed Melbourne Victory to a 1-1 draw to extend their winless start to the A-League season.
Source:
AAP
11 Nov 2017 - 10:31 PM  UPDATED 11 Nov 2017 - 10:31 PM

Kevin Muscat's men looked to have done enough on Saturday night when Besart Berisha scored in his return from suspension in the 79th minute at Etihad Stadium.

But the Roar drew level minutes later when Holman managed to get on the end of a sweet Jack Hingert cross and nailed a straightforward finish.

The result leaves last year's grand finalists stranded in eighth place - one ahead of Brisbane - with four draws and two losses.

It was a frustrating night for Victory who looked the more-dangerous side throughout but especially when the game opened up late after a dour opening 60 minutes.

Winger Leroy George was the architect of virtually all of Melbourne's attacking forays and was fittingly the man who set up Berisha's goal.

The dynamic Dutchman collected substitute Christian Theoharous' cross and his classy through-ball was cracked into the top left-hand corner by Berisha.

The A-League's record goal scorer was otherwise quiet in his first game back from a two-week ban for pushing an official.

With James Troisi, Mark Milligan and Kosta Barbarouses all on international duty, it was largely left to George to provide run and drive for a lifeless Victory side.

The hosts would have gone ahead in the 19th minute if not for a magnificent reflex save from Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young to fend off a Leigh Broxham header from a George corner.

It was the first of several brilliant stops from Young, who was filling in for injured first-choice glovesman Michael Theo (finger).

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With George running riot on the right wing, Brisbane resorted to ugly tactics to slow their opponents down with four of their players - and two Victory rivals - earning yellow cards.

But the Roar also had their chances and could have made Victory's night much worse if not for two brilliant stops from defender Rhys Williams.

The former Socceroo thrust his leg out on the last line of defence to stop a certain 28th-minute goal when Avram Papadopolous connected with a header off Eric Bautheac's set piece.

Williams was again the saviour in the 74th minute, fending off a searing shot on goal from Brisbane flanker Connor O'Toole.