Star striker Jamie Maclaren’s record goal-scoring run ended as his frustrated Melbourne City side was held to a 1-1 draw by the Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.
Maclaren had scored in every one of City’s 10 completed A-League matches heading into the contest at CommBank Stadium.
However, try as he might, the Socceroos marksman could not add to his season tally of 13 goals on a frustrating afternoon for the A-League leaders.
City were in complete dominance from the opening whistle, with the Wanderers taking a first-half lead against the run of play in the 19th minute through Brandon Borrello.
The visitors grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 58th minute via classy Dutchman Richard van der Venne.
However, despite being in total control of the contest, City had to settle for a share of the points in hot conditions.
“The 10-game (goalscoring) streak’s over now and we’re a little bit disappointed as a team that we didn’t come away with three points,” Maclaren told Network 10.
“We pushed them right to the end. They’re a good team at home so we’ll take a lot of positives out of that.”
The match statistics proved how one-sided the game was.
City had 31 shots to the Wanderers’ two, had 13 corners to Western Sydney’s none, and entered the hosts’ penalty area 55 times compared to the home side’s eight.
Despite City’s dominance, it was the Wanderers who went ahead in the 19th minute.
Ramy Najjarine was the provider of the chance with a perfectly weighted pass behind City’s defence that found teammate Borrello.
The former Brisbane Roar star was able to get the better of centre-back Curtis Good before slotting the ball into the corner of the net to score his third goal of the season.
The usually deadly Jamie Maclaren failed to hit the target with first-half chances, while his Socceroos teammates Marco Tilio and Mathew Leckie were also wasteful with opportunities in the opening stanza.
City continued to attack in the second-half, with a Tilio shot hitting the post in the 53rd minute.
The visitors finally netted their well-deserved equaliser five minutes later through impressive import van der Venne.
The 30-year-old midfielder made the Wanderers pay for failing to clear the ball from their penalty area with a classy and left-footed shot that curled into the top corner of the net.
“It’s unbelievable that we didn’t win the match,” van der Venne said.
Wanderers coach Marko Rudan praised his side’s “resolute” defensive effort, but was unhappy with the 3pm (AEDT) kick-off time of the match.
“If you expect quality from either team – and I feel for both sets of players – at three o’clock in 32 degree heat … you’re not going to get it,” Rudan said.
“Something needs to be looked at and said, because it’s ridiculous to have three o’clock kick-offs.”