Michael Weier’s job is saving goals, not scoring them.
Yet on Saturday night, the Hume City goalkeeper was the hero in the sensational dying seconds of his side’s National Premier League season opener against Melbourne Knights.
City looked in trouble with 10 minutes of regular time left, trailing 2-0 after conceding goals in the 25th and 62nd minutes.
A Theo Markelis goal reduced the margin to 2-1 in the 82nd minute which was the score at the end of 90 minutes. Three minutes of injury time still to come.
City technical manager Dean Hennessey knew the game was still in Melbourne Knights’ favour.
“Once you make it 2-1 instead of 2-0, it’s all of a sudden one more opportunity to get some points out of the game,” he said.
“There was only meant to be three minutes of injury time.
“An injury and substitutions meant that was pushed to seven minutes.
“In the end, all their keeper had to do was kick the ball as far as possible and by the time the ball landed the game would have been over.”
Instead, Knights’ goalkeeper Fraser Chalmers made a comment to the referee that resulted in a red card and a free kick to City.
City skipper Nick Hegarty took the kick and bombed it into the box, where it found the head of Weier who scored the equaliser with the final play of the match.
“It was a really good header and we’re really happy to come away with a point from the situation we were in,” Hennessey said.
He said Weier, who was making his debut for City, used to be a striker growing up.
“He’s only 19 and keeps surprising us,” he said. “Michael did really well. He got a decent hand to their penalty and was unfortunate not to stop it.”
While happy to take a point from the match, Hennessey was also a little disappointed – he thinks his side is good enough to win games against opposition such as the Knights.
Still, the draw was obtained despite the fact many players were making their debut for the club.
Seven players and the whole bench were playing for City for the first time.
Meanwhile, in NPL 2 west, Whittlesea Ranges suffered a 1-0 loss to Ballarat City.
The Ranges fell behind before half-time and were down to 10 men after a scuffle resulted in a straight red card.
The Ranges struggled to find scoring opportunities after that.