AAP Soccer

Glass half full for Victory, City coaches

By AAP Newswire

Melbourne Victory's Marco Kurz felt a draw was about right, while Melbourne City's Erick Mombaerts wanted more, but both coaches saw reasons for optimism in their A-League season-opening scoreless draw.

A second-half Elvis Kamsoba goal that was disallowed for the Victory was the closest either side came to breaking the stalemate on Saturday night in front of 33,523 fans at Marvel Stadium.

Kamsoba looked to have broken through for his maiden league goal in the 56th minute but the Burundian winger was ruled offside by the video assistant referee (VAR).

It was a shame because the call wasted a superb goal celebration by Kamsoba, who went backflipping towards the corner flag and stuck the landing with a flourish that would've done an Olympic gymnast proud.

The first half largely lacked the energy and intensity typical of the heated rivalry, which was perhaps to be expected given the extensive changes in personnel and tactical overhauls embarked on by the coaches who were both appointed in the off-season.

"I don't think our performance was better than City's and that means the draw is a fair result," Kurz said.

"We need time for improvement and we have a lot of work to do but I am still confident and believe in the boys.

"I'm 100 per cent confident that we are on the right track.

"This result was not bad against a very strong side."

Star signing Robbie Kruse was ruled out with a hamstring injury during the week, but fellow Victory new boy Tim Hoogland injured a groin with his last kick of Friday's final training session.

The German central defender will undergo scans to determine how long he is unavailable.

Kurz was generally pleased with his off-season signings, with Andrew Nabbout showing flashes of class on the right.

City lacked the killer instinct around goal of star striker Jamie Maclaren, who is away with the Socceroos, but Mombaerts felt his side deserved better than a draw.

"I'm a little bit disappointed ... we had some good chances but we score no goals," the Frenchman said.

"I'm also happy about the performance of the team ... it was a good start, especially in the build-up where we were accurate and defensively we were strong.

"We conceded few chances so for me it is a good performance.

"Jamie is our best striker, so maybe if there were some good chances as we had then maybe he would have scored one."