McKay thwarts Victory comeback

Matt McKay has extended Brisbane Roar’s unbeaten streak to 15 games with a last-minute equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Matt McKay has extended Brisbane Roar’s unbeaten streak to 15 games with a last-minute equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

In a match which swung dramatically over the 90 minutes, the Roar took a 2-0 lead before half-time after an own goal from Matthew Kemp – Melbourne’ s third in their past five games – and a header from Jean Carlos Solorzano – his seventh goal in the past six games.

But Melbourne looked to have finally found the spark they needed to get their season going again after three goals in 14 second-half minutes turned the game on its head.

Robbie Kruse started the comeback in the 63rd minute, with a superb finish before Archie Thompson headed home in the 70th. Kruse then looked to have secured all three points for the home side after pouncing on a rebound from a Carlos Hernandez free kick.

But just as the home side were ready to celebrate their best win of the season, McKay bobbed up to tuck home a fortunate equaliser in the 93rd minute. The Brisbane skipper’s initial shot was blocked by Michael Petkovic, but the ball rebounded off Rody Vargas to McKay who couldn-t miss from metres out.

Top-placed Brisbane have now not lost a game since their 3-0 defeat to Victory at the same ground in September and don-t play the Victory again this season. Their lead on top of the table is seven points over Adelaide, who have three games in hand.

Melbourne’s run of tough luck continues at AAMI Park, with just one win at the ground in seven matches and they have now drawn their past three and have gone five without a win. They move to 20 points on the table, still in sixth place ahead of next week’s derby against Melbourne Heart.

Melbourne began the game brightly and their two Costa Ricans, Hernandez and Marvin Angulo both had chances to open the scoring in the opening ten minutes although they both had their shots comfortably saved by Michael Theoklitos before Brisbane had their first serious shot on goal.

It was only a matter of time before Thomas Broich worked his way into the contest and on 30 minutes he played a neat one-two with Matthew Smith to create some space for himself before whipping in a cross. Kemp tried to ensure Solorzano couldn-t get a shot on goal but his effort only served to direct the ball into his own net.

Brisbane continued to create chances and corners and it was from their ninth corner of the match that they created their second goal on the stroke of half-time. McKay put in the ball and Smith’s shot hit the bar before deflecting back off Petkovic and into the path of Solorzano, who knocked in his eighth of the season.

Brisbane’s attacking tempo dropped off in the second half and Hernandez enjoyed the space. After he first shot over and then shot wide, he set up Kruse’s first goal. He sent him through and Kruse rounded Smith, fired quickly and beat Theoklitos.

The Roar had an immediate chance to restore the margin, but Mitch Nichol’s effort was well saved by Petkovic.

Seven minutes later it was 2-2, when Hernandez played a short corner, received the ball back and put in a cross which was flicked on by Kruse to Thompson who headed home.

The chances flowed freely and after Thompson hit the side netting, Luke Brattan’s shot was well blocked by Rody Vargas.

Then the Victory took the lead when Hernandez hit his free kick well, Theoklitos could only parry and Kruse was there to tap it home.

However, it wasn’t over just yet and in the final minute, quick-ball movement from the Roar sent McKay through and while he missed his first chance, the Roar skipper finished the second to make it 3-3.

Melbourne Victory 3 (Kruse 63, 77, Thompson 70)
Brisbane Roar 3 (Kemp (og) 30, Solorzano 45, McKay 90+)
Crowd: 11,886 at AAMI Park.