NPL wrap: North Geelong 0-0 Victory

Melbourne Victory extended its unbeaten run in the NPL2 West with a 0-0 draw against the North Geelong Warriors on Saturday.

Summary

Neither side was able to find a breakthrough at Elcho Park in Geelong, where a bumpy pitch made for a huge battle.

But Victory held firm away from home, stretching its unbeaten run to five games.

Birkan Kirdar and Jack Palazzolo had early chances for Victory, which made a fine start.

But goalkeeper Majak Mawith was called into action in the 10th minute, the shot-stopper tipping a Julien Cassano header over the crossbar.

Despite a flurry of action to finish the half, both teams struggled to create clear-cut opportunities.

The tight contest continued after the break, with a Kirdar strike from inside the area blocked with 12 minutes remaining.

Mawith made a fine save to tip away an Anthony Banovac free-kick in the dying stages, while the Warriors had an effort ruled out for offside.

Head coach Gareth Naven

"When you think about it being away from home, dealing with the surface as much as the opposition and how hard they were at the ball and worked really hard and we were always trying to match that and try and do our best to make sure defensively, at set-pieces we were competitive, in attack, try to attack quickly. I just thought it was two teams at times just going end to end, back to back, sort of nullifying each other.

"I think both teams had to deal with the conditions of the pitch, which could've played at an advantage or disadvantage to either team. Overall, I think the effort produced from our team was again consistent to the previous week and obviously I think a point well deserved. I was happy with the outcome of the match.

"I thought it was a good challenge for our young players to experience a different type of football today as well, which is important for them to experience because they're going to come off games where you've just got to battle the conditions, whether that's the weather, whether that's the pitch. They've got to work hard against the opposition because they're working just as hard as them because they don't want to give and we don't want to give. It's a game that each team wants to stay in the match, stay in the match for something brilliant from an individual or a mistake from an individual and you might pinch a goal for 1-0 and come out on top so I thought that type of match was pretty evident today."

Under-20s

Victory's under-20s made it back-to-back wins by beating the North Geelong Warriors 4-0.

NPL2 West 2018 Round 16
North Geelong Warriors 0
Melbourne Victory 0

Melbourne Victory: Majak Mawith; Andrew Visciglio, Benjamin Carrigan (c), Aaron Anderson, Luke Goulding; Brady Quinn, Nicholas Hatzigeorgiou; Liston Diaz (Maker Maker), Birkan Kirdar, Yazid Said; Jack Palazzolo.

Next week

Victory is back at home in Round 17, hosting Moreland City at Epping Stadium on Sunday, June 17.