2017/18 Australian A-League, 2017 Australian A-League
  • Besart Berisha (49')
  • Blake Powell (71')

Blake Powell nets as Central Coast take point off Melbourne Victory

Super substitute Blake Powell scored within seconds of coming on to secure Central Coast a 1-1 A-League draw with Melbourne Victory in Geelong.

The red-hot Victory looked set to extend their winning streak to four games when Besart Berisha conjured a sublime goal in the 48th minute at Kardinia Park.

But the Mariners struck back almost immediately after a second-half drinks break held in line with the league's heat policy.

Powell and Lachlan Wales both came on as substitutes in the 70th minute and, seconds later, Wales found space on the left wing and crossed to Powell for a simple finish.

The temperature in Geelong had crept up to 44C in the hours leading up to a delayed 6 p.m. kickoff. But a forecast cool change arrived right on time with the mercury dropping to 28C as the players took the field.

Drinks breaks were still held midway through both halves and the second appeared to rob the Victory of their momentum.

Kevin Muscat's side had dominated without reward before Berisha scored seemingly out of nowhere. The A-League's all-time leading scorer latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty box, shrugged off three Mariners defenders and curled it into the back of the net.

It was redemption for Berisha after he'd squandered a golden opportunity to put his side ahead. The Kosovo international couldn't convert directly in front of goal after latching onto a Leroy George cross in the 17th minute.

Poor conversion proved to be the story of the night for the Victory with Kosta Barbarouses, James Troisi and Jason Geria all failing to put away opportunities.

Jai Ingham had a perfect chance to score in stoppage time when a deflected shot at goal fell his way but his shot went wide.

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