Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou believes a rare off night in front of goal cost his men in their 1-1 draw against Sydney on Saturday.
The Victory hit the front in the third minute via a Mark Milligan goal and created numerous other chances but could not bury the hosts, eventually conceding a late equaliser to Yairo Yau.
“I think we had the weight of the chances and it was a frustrating night for us,” Postecoglou said.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game up here, a finals-like atmosphere in front of a big crowd and they’re obviously desperate for points.
“We had some young blokes we threw out there but I thought we were magnificent tonight and created some great opportunities.
“They had some chances too from set-pieces in particular and we kind of needed the second goal just to kill them off but that’s probably the only thing lacking in our game tonight because usually the chances we created we’d score at least one of those.
“At 2-0 the game would have been gone but we kept them in the game and they’re always threatening from set-pieces, they’ve got quality delivery there and in the end they got us with one.”
Postecoglou praised his younger brigade who answered the call in front of a raucous 22,233 home crowd.
“I thought our performance was excellent considering we had a 17-year-old and 18-year-old in the full-back positions and we’ve got a 19-year-old playing up front,” he said.
“Marco Rojas is not old, we had Leigh Broxham playing at centre-half – that was a side out there that was going to have to find something special to play as well as we did and we did so full credit to the players that were out there today.”
When asked how his side is tracking with two regular-season games remaining, Postecoglou said: “It’s hard to gauge where we are because we’ve been fairly disrupted in our personnel.
“And we will be because we lose another three next week through international duty so we’ll probably have an even younger team out there next week.
“It’s hard to judge where we are but what I do know is our form the last three weeks has been really good.
“When we’ve been good this year we’ve looked really threatening going forward and we’ve created a lot of opportunities the last three weeks so that’s a good sign for us.”