Melbourne Victory have managed a vital point in their Champions League campaign as they held on for a 2-2 draw against Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors at Ettihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The match started slowly but in the 11th minute Melbourne Victory had their first chance of the match as a deflection played Barbarouses through and on-side allowing him to run through one-on-one with the keeper but sent his effort well wide.
Jeonbuk started to take advantage but they wasted the chances that they had, firing them right at Lawrence Thomas.
The Koreans were dominating proceedings but then Victory stunned the visitors, hitting the opening goal against the run of play in the 31st minute.
It was a controversial free-kick that allowed Jesse Makarounas to send in a hard cross that found Nick Ansell at the far post, allowing him to head it home.
Seven minutes later a goal-mouth scramble nearly allowed Jeonbuk back on level terms after Thomas picked up a back-pass, resulting in an indirect free-kick in the box, the chance ending as Thomas charged the shot down and blocked it getting over the bar.
In the 41st minute Choi Bo Kyung was able to get a powerful header away, hitting it powerfully, which was denied by a Thomas save, keeping it 1-0 at the break.
The sides seemed tired at the end of the first half and they started the second half slowly with both sides struggling to create clear chances.
In the 50th minute Jeonbuk went close as Lee Seung-Gi had his powerful header denied by a fantastic Thomas save which allowed Han Kyo Won to head over the bar on the corner.
The sides struggled for the bulk of the second half before Ansell slipped in the 69th minute allowing Lee Dong Gook a chance at close range but his toe poke was weak, allowing Thomas an easy save.
That was only the beginning as Jeonbuk started to get really in to the match and in the 76th minute they managed to get back on level terms as Thomas saved Lee Seung-Gi’s shot, but only parried it for Lee Dong Gook to tap home the equalizer.
Three minutes later and Jeonbuk had the lead as Lee Dong Gook sealed his brace with a powerful strike from 30 yards out to make it 2-1 to the Korean side.
That forced Victory to push on and the frantic period continued with Victory getting back on level terms in the 81st minute as a ball over the top found Kosta Barbarouses, allowing him to get behind the defense and slot it past the keeper to salvage a point.