The Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners have finished leveled in a 1-1 draw in Launceston, Tasmania.
Melbourne started off very well and opened the scoring just before the break via Marcos Flores, just before Mariners Coach Graham Arnold was dismissed.
Central Coast though left Tasmania with a point after Danny McBreen continued his fine form with his 13th goal of the season from the spot.
The Victory started very brightly and could have scored twice in the opening eight minutes, but Archie Thompson in his 150th A-League game, was magnificently denied by a charging Mat Ryan.
Mark Milligan sent a bullet of a strike wide shortly after, before Marco Rojas picked out an unmarked Thompson who got his effort all wrong firing into the stands.
After a slow start the Mariners made their way back into the game and McBreen found Adam Kwasnik with a superb low cross, Victory ‘keeper Nathan Coe though was in the way from Kwasnik’s close range strike.
The Melbournians were given a golden chance to open the scoring as Flores was fouled by Nick Montgomery in the box, and Montgomery was lucky not to be sent off for his second booking. Rojas stepped up to the spot, but the New Zealander curled his attempt onto the post past an outreached Ryan.
Victory were comfortable in midfield with Billy Celeski, Spase Dilevski and Mark Milligan, while Flores was starting to get into his groove.
And it was the Flores who finally finished off one of Victory’s chances as the Argentine swept home Adama Traore’s cross into the bottom corner after Rojas linked up with Ivorian.
On the stroke of half-time Central Coast were dealt with a massive blow as Arnold was sent to the stands after a long discussion between the officials.
The Coasters tried changing up the game at half-time by bringing on Bernie Ibini for Kwasnik, while Victory brought on Leigh Broxham for the impressive Nick Ansell.
After a high tempo in the first-half the second period was much slower, however Central Coast still created their fair share of opportunities.
Sterjovski hooked over just after the hour mark, before Coe denied Michael McGlinchey’s volley with an amazing low save.
The brilliance in between the sticks continued as Ryan terrifically tapped a Rojas’ chipped attempt over.
On 77 minutes though Central Coast leveled. Victory Skipper Adrian Leijer caught McGlinchey with a high foot inside the penalty area and was punished as McBreen coolly slotted the equalizer after sending Coe the wrong way.
Celeski and Milligan linked up fantastically well as the clock ticked down, but the latter blasted well over, before Leijer thumped a header inches wide in stoppage-time.
The Victory still lay in third spot trailing the Mariners by seven points who sit at the summit.