A-League matches in Ballarat continue to be a success with Saturday’s friendly between Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers growing on previous matches in the region.
The game at Morshead Park ended in a 1-1 draw in front of nearly 2500 spectators. Senior representative from Ballarat Football Andrew Burgess said it was an “outstanding result” as it eyes bringing an A-League match for premiership point to Ballarat.
“It’s an outstanding result for the game and obviously for Ballarat,” Burgess told The Courier.
“Absolutely rapt by those numbers and the support of the Ballarat community.
“We’ve established a really strong connection with Melbourne Victory.
“There is a real conversation to be had with the City of Ballarat and Melbourne Victory around how do we turn this into a fixture for points and get that support for that moving forward...that would be the ultimate goal for us.”
Melbourne Victory star James Troisi's early strike was cancelled out by Roly Bonevacia's finish with 11 minutes remaining.
The A-League champions had the better of a picture-perfect day but couldn't make it count on the scoreboard.
"There was a lot to like," coach Kevin Muscat said.
"The only thing that was disappointing was we didn't get the win we deserved ... we created a truckload of turnovers and opportunities."
Muscat was without his trio of recent international signings - Keisuke Honda, Ola Toivonen and Raul Baena.
Honda missed the match as he prepares to manage the Cambodian national team for the first time, while Toivonen and Baena are yet to arrive.
But German centre-back Georg Niedermeier impressed in his first start for Victory, making a stunning last-ditch tackle to deny Lachlan Scott a one-on-one chance in the first half.
Troisi started up front with striker Kenjok Athiu sidelined with an ankle issue.
His 18th minute goal came from Jai Ingham's short corner after clever work from Kosta Barbarouses.