NPL report: Victory 0-0 Springvale

Melbourne Victory played out a 0-0 draw against the Springvale White Eagles in the NPL2 West on Sunday.

Summary

Neither team was able to find a breakthrough at Epping Stadium, where wind and rain made for difficult conditions in the second half.

The result was Victory's second straight draw after it was held by Box Hill United last week.

Victory made a bright start and went close to an opener in the 14th minute, Jack Palazzolo cutting in from the right before drawing a good save from Springvale goalkeeper Lajos Hun.

At the other end, Victory goalkeeper Matthew Sutton made a fine save, diving to his right to push away an Andrija Kecojevic strike.

In what was a scrappy finish to the half, Victory was forced into some desperate defending on its goal line to go into the break level.

Heavy rain began to fall to start the second half as Springvale squandered a couple of excellent chances.

Victory had opportunities of its own, Stefan Ristic forcing a good save from Hun before having an effort cleared off the line just before the hour-mark.

Ristic tested Hun again two minutes later, while Sutton made an excellent save with his body to deny Gerry Kavadas in the 63rd minute.

Victory continued to push and was close to making a breakthrough in the 77th minute, but So Nishikawa's powerful effort rattled the crossbar after a pass from Yazid Said as it was forced to settle for a point.

Head coach Gareth Naven's post-match thoughts

"Really slow I thought in the first half, coming out, more intensity, more attention, more ambition to win the second ball, more ambition to pressure the opposition, more ambition to do everything quicker.

"Second half, we improved that, not enough at times, we had opportunities to score but in saying that, they did too. If I look at the game, we had a clean sheet, which is a positive thing for us, so we defended well at times. I believe there's more to achieve for our playing group and understanding the importance of energy required for 90 minutes of a football match and we saw moments of it today and the ability for us to repeat it all the time is an important thing we need to get better at."

NPL2 West 2019 Round 15
Melbourne Victory 0
Springvale White Eagles 0

Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton (gk); Brandon Lauton (c), Matthew Bozinovski, Aaron Anderson, Aydin Mustedanagic (So Nishikawa); Thierry Iradukunda, Anthony Lesiotis; Jack Palazzolo, Stefan Ristic, Yazid Said; Nuh Sehavdic (Jack Morton).

Under-20s

Victory's league-leading under-20s recorded a 3-1 win over the Springvale White Eagles.