By Roanna Sanelli
The St Albans Saints played out a one all draw with the Bulleen Lions at David Barro Stadium on Monday evening.
Dinamo were keen to highlight their strengths as a playing group as well as their on-pitch abilities, following a devastating loss at the hands of Green Gully.
Yet they were without the services of John Lazaridis, Calvin M’barga and Nana Yaw whom were all ruled out of the squad due to injury and suspension.
Anthony Katiforis came into the starting line-up and partnered Captain Ryan McGuffie in the centre of defence while Joseph Monek assumed the left-back position.
At the sound of the opening whistle, there was immediate aggression, physicality and intent from the visitors whom sought an early advantage.
The synthetic nature of the pitch suited the Saints as they utilised the space on the flanks to quickly transition from defence to attack.
Indeed, it was Dinamo whom had the opening chance of the encounter via a Michael Grgic header which travelled over the bar.
Monek utilised his pace to run at the Bulleen defence with an eventual strike being saved by the opposition goalkeeper.
The hosts attempted to stretch the Saints to create gaps in play and placed pressure on every exchange made by the opposition.
Yet it was the speed and communication of the visitors which allowed them to maintain possession.
It was at the half hour mark that their efforts were nearly rewarded when a Christopher Cristaldo cross found Matthew Cundari whose header forced a stretching save from Wyatt Chant.
Despite the group efforts of the Saints, it was the host side whom secured the crucial advantage before the break.
A Jordan Templin super-strike from outside the area was enough to secure the lead for the home squad after having no real scoring opportunities in the opening half.
The second term for Dinamo began in a similar fashion as the first with the visitors ensuring their presence was felt by Bulleen.
Indeed, they were finally rewarded when a lone Rodrigo Covarrubias found himself wedged in between two defenders and simply looped the ball over goalkeeper Chant to secure the equaliser.
His goal prompted a heightened aggression and enthusiasm from the squad as another Monek shot narrowly missed the top right corner.
The host side also had several scoring chances, some of which tested goalkeeper Aaron Romein.
However, it was the visitors whom in the closing minutes had two separate opportunities two grasp the lead but both attempts narrowly missed the inside of the crossbar.
Dinamo will re-group and look to take the positives into their Croatian Derby clash against the North Geelong Warriors on Sunday afternoon.