Melbourne City secured a 1-1 draw against Newcastle thanks to Max Caputo’s debut professional goal on what was a frustrating Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park.
A controversial handball call saw the Jets take the lead from the penalty spot before Scott Jamieson was sent off minutes later in another head-scratching call.
Head Coach Rado Vidosic made one change to his lineup, bringing in Nuno Reis in place of Callum Talbot at right back.
19-year-old goalkeeper James Nieuwenhuizen was named on the bench for the first time in his young career, preferred over Matthew Sutton.
Starting XI: 1. Tom GLOVER (GK), 4. Nuno REIS, 6. Thomas LAM, 38. Jordan BOS, 3. Scott JAMIESON (C), 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 23. Marco TILIO, 9. Jamie MACLAREN.
Substitutes: 40. James NIEUWENHUIZEN (GK), 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 10. Florin BERENGUER, 18. Jordon HALL, 25. Callum TALBOT, 35. Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, 37. Max CAPUTO.
City got off to the better start of the two teams, controlling the tempo as we’ve come accustomed to seeing.
A mishit back pass almost gifted City a golden chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute. Jamie Maclaren chested the ball down well but saw his strike on goal well-saved by Michael Weier.
The eventual opener would come down the other end 20 minutes later, Beka Mikeldatze slotting home a penalty after a VAR review awarded a spot-kick for handball on Andrew Nabbout.
City was flying around immediately following the goal, looking to respond quickly with an equaliser.
Aiden O’Neill got a sight at goal in the 34rd when he was well found by a Marco Tilio cutback, but his shot from the edge of the area was kept out by a diving Weier.
Things went from bad to worse a few minutes before the break when skipper Scott Jamieson was shown a second yellow card in controversial fashion after the referee initially didn’t whistle a foul, but changed his mind after a chat with the fourth official.
Despite being down to 10 men, City came out all guns blazing in the second half, desperate to find a way back into the contest.
Valon Berisha was at the top of his game in midfield, working effortlessly to try and create that golden chance in the final third.
Jordan Bos went on a series of his trademark runs from left-back but the extra man for Newcastle proved to make it tough for City to find a way through.
Stoppage time was dwindling down when Vidosic turned to 17-year-old Max Caputo on the bench, hoping to see the young striker deliver a last-gasp equaliser.
And deliver he did… climbing high from a 92nd-minute Florin Berenguer corner to head home the equaliser to ensure City would at least take a point.
City will next be in action on Wednesday night when it faces Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
This is the replayed fixture from the abandoned December Melbourne Derby, and will begin from the 22nd minute with City 1-0 ahead. Click here for full ticketing details.