Melbourne City FC has continued its preparations ahead of the start of the upcoming Hyundai A-League season, registering a 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar in a behind-closed-doors friendly at CFA Melbourne on Tuesday.
Despite falling behind to an early strike from Henrique, City had the first clear-cut chance of the match when Luke Brattan played through Michael O’Halloran, with the Scotsman unable to make the keeper work.
Henrique would go on to punish the home side three minutes later, when his deft chip beat Mark Birighitti inside the sixth minute.
Warren Joyce’s men responded well to falling behind, producing a range of good opportunities in front of goal – two of which fell to ever-lively Lachlan Wales – without registering any reward.
Wales’ first opportunity came when Brattan played the winger into the box, but Jamie Young saved his one-on-one effort. Moments later, Brattan would again play through Wales – this time with a brilliant piercing ball that split open the Roar’s midfield and defence – but the youngster failed to capitalise, with his effort travelling just wide.
Brattan and new marquee signing, Ritchie de Laet, looked more and more threatening as the half progressed, with the latter making several damaging runs from his right-back position.
In the final minute of the first period Michael O’Halloran produced an electric individual run, skipping past three Brisbane players, before seeing his effort deflected behind for a corner.
Brattan began the second-half much like his first by pulling the strings in the midfield. Five minutes into the second period, the midfielder whipped in a fierce ball across the 18-yard box that was met first time by Florin Berenguer, but his effort flew inches wide of Young’s near post.
In the 55th minute City would equalise from the spot following a foul on O’Halloran. Half-time substitute, Dario Vidosic stepped up to take the penalty, sending Young the wrong way and drilling home the equaliser into the bottom corner.
City finished the game strongly with a couple of threatening chances from two of Joyce’s second-half substitutes. The first of those came when Anthony Caceres whipped in a dangerous set-piece which was met by Connor Metcalfe whose glancing header was saved by Young.
Dylan Pierias then fizzed in a cross from right-back with Josh Cavallo’s first time effort forcing another impressive save from Brisbane’s shot-stopper and ensuring the game ended 1:1.
From here, City has four more weeks to continue its preparations before facing off against its Melbourne rivals in the first round of the 2018-19 Hyundai A-League.