NYL Champions Melbourne City began their National Premier League 2 East campaign on Saturday with a 2-2 draw against Richmond.
City came from behind twice to salvage a draw on City’s Elite Pitches as Dylan Pierias and a late long-range Ali Eyigun strike secured a point in Saturday’s stifling conditions.
Despite a strong start, City went behind after 11 minutes as the home side failed to clear a corner, seeing Gonzalo Freddi finish from close range.
Joe Palatsides’ side didn’t let the early setback affect their play however as they continued to push for the equaliser and came closest through Gerrie Sylaidos before the break.
It was the opening stages of the second half however where City were inches away from restoring parity as a dangerous free-kick from Eyigun saw Yusuf Ahmed scuff his shot from yards out, forcing keeper Brandon Osipov into tapping his effort away from danger.
City were eventually rewarded for their persistence as a long through ball from Connor Metcalfe saw Pierias round Osipov and finish into an empty net.
However a lapse in concertation saw the home side behind only moments later as a cross to the back post saw Rob Taylor unmarked in the penalty area with the midfielder volleying home to restore his side lead.
It looked done and dusted for City before Ali Eyigun’s cross-come-shot sailed over the top of Osipov to ensure the spoils were shared in the opening round.
In the U20’s, City ran our 4-3 winners over Richmond. Colakovski, Cuschieri, Delic and Bombaci finding the back of the net.
City will now prepare to take on Murray United on Saturday 11 February at the CFA Academy Pitches. U20’s kick-off 12.30pm, Seniors 3pm.