From 2-0, to 2-2 in the dying embers of Melbourne City FC’s Round 6 match against the Central Coast Mariners, Head Coach John van’t Schip said Sunday’s draw with the Mariners felt more like a loss than a draw.
After dominating the match for large periods of the match – and taking a 2-0 lead through two headers – one early in the first half from Mate Dugandzic and early in the second half from Erik Paartalu – City let its lead slip in the final 13 minutes.
Glen Trifiro’s superbly-executed free kick in the 80th minute cut the deficit in half for the Mariners, who continued to press the home side deep into three added minutes of time and conjured a late equaliser through a long-range John Hutchinson strike.
While disappointed with the final result, van’t Schip denied his team had taken its two-goal lead for granted.
“You never have it [a match] in the bag [until the final whistle],” van’t Schip said.
“We put it on the whiteboard in the pre-match talk as well that it’s 90 plus [injury time] that you need to be concentrated.
“That showed again today in the last second of injury time when we conceded the goal for the draw.
“We were not taking it for granted that we had the win already there. We dropped too deep in the end and you invite them in.
“It’s a shame because if you look at the whole game we played better. Of course we had some times that we were not controlling the game, in the first part I think.
“But after going up 1-0 we had some chances for the 2-0 and when we made the 2-0 we had some very good chances to make it 3-0 with Marc Marino and David Williams, even other chances with other chances with Damien Duff and [Jacob] Melling from a free kick.
“All over the game I thought we were the team that had more chances but in the end, and that’s what counts, it’s 2-2 and they [the Mariners] were very effective.
“Overall we’re very disappointed because it feels like a loss.”
van't Schip said he was confident his side would use the motivation from Sunday's match against Sydney FC this Saturday night when the side returns to AAMI Park in Round 7.
Click play on the video above to watch the full press conference.