By Roanna Sanelli
Photo: Dion Fountas
The St Albans Saints have drawn 2-2 with the Moreland Zebras at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Dinamo’s disappointing FFA Cup exit was left firmly in the past as the squad reset their sights on their NPL2 campaign.
Marko Bagaric and Dominic Falla both maintained their starting eleven positions after having impressed in the loss to the St Kilda Celts.
Good communication from the visitors was evident from the opening whistle as the hosts attempted to out-muscle their opponents in the midfield battles.
Despite their aggressive play, it was Dinamo whom had the first opportunities with Joseph Monek and captain Michael Grgic both having chances to score.
The hosts immediately responded with a close-range half volley attempt saved by the quick thinking of goalkeeper Robert Santilli.
Moreland continued to press forward with pace which allowed them to correctly time their runs as well as their positioning.
Possession was won and lost in the centre of the pitch with the midfield battle causing continual turnovers of the ball.
The second term saw the Saints gain momentum, displaying excellent pressure going forward.
Ten minutes into the half and Dinamo were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area following a hefty challenge on Monek.
Midfielder Stefan Baricevic took the kick and curled it past the reach of the keeper to give his side the lead.
The addition of Adrian Barresi gave the visitors an extra element of speed as well as options on the flanks.
Monek soon got his name on the scoresheet after a well-timed run and finish.
His goal bolstered the lead of the Saints, but their lead did not come without a cost, with Falla sustaining a knee injury.
While the visitors attempted to maintain their advantage, the Zebras visibly heightened their physicality level with the aim of winning every ball.
Their efforts were rewarded as a rebounded shot found it’s way into the back of the net.
Tempers flared as Dinamo tried to maintain their one goal lead.
Despite their attempts, the hosts scored the equaliser in a somewhat scrappy and controversial manner following a save from Santilli.
The late final goal stole the victory from the Saints whom had to settle for a point, with their sights firmly set on their home game against Langwarrin on Sunday.