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Victory and Sydney fight out draw

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With both teams desperately wanting a win, rivals Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC could only manage a 1-1 draw at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

It was an entertaining draw, with both sides not willing to give anything up to their bitter rivals, perhaps making the final result inevitable.

For Victory a win would have pushed them up to second, while for Sydney a win would have been enough to keep them in the top six for another week, regardless of results.

As such, a draw does little for both sides, with Victory in fourth, and Sydney only staying in sixth if the Jets fail to win in Perth on Sunday but a loss for either side would have been much more damaging.

Melbourne Victory were the stronger side in the opening stages as they pushed Sydney FC from the first whistle with Scott Galloway sent Kosta Barbarouses free down the left but Sydney cleared his cross.

Sydney had a chance in the fifth minute as Ali Abbas was in acres of space and crossed for Richard Garcia who could only head over the bar.

Alessandro Del Piero was the one making things happen for Sydney FC and in the 25th minute he send Matt Thompson through, only for Lawrence Thomas to make the save.

Del Piero had a chance five minutes later as he took a free-kick that was saved, before Abbas’ corner was played short to the Italian who was able to cross it in for Garcia, who headed wide.

In the 32nd minute Barbarouses had a golden opportunity as he beat his defender but he couldn’t find the target as he sent his shot wide of goal.

Late in the half Joel Chianese was felled just outside the area, allowing Del Piero to step up and hit a shot that deflected off the wall, nearly catching out Thomas who was able to punch it over the bar.

The second half saw the goal drought come to an end as Ali Abbas made a phenomenal run at the Victory defense and was allowed to shoot, forcing Thomas in to a save, only for the rebound to fall for Chianese who tapped home the opener.

Melbourne Victory were forced to go for the match, and they did so, putting more men forward and placing pressure on the Sydney FC goal.

That pressure finally told in the 63rd minute when Mark Milligan won possession and then fed Gui Finkler, allowing him to set up James Troisi, who beat the keeper with a well placed shot.

Victory were the more dangerous side for the final half hour but Sydney held out to pick up the point that could prove vital.

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