The Wollongong Wolves were minutes away from getting their NPL NSW season off to a flyer but had to settle for a point following two second half goals from APIA Leichhardt.
Goals to Takumi Ofuka and Mirza Muratovic in the first half saw the Wolves flying but a goal from Rory Jordan early in the second half and then a late strike from Sean Symons meant David Carney had to settle for a point in his first game in his coaching career.
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There were seven new faces in the starting side from last season with Carney looking to get his coaching tenure off to the best possible start.
The match commenced and the Wolves struggled to get hold of the ball early with APIA looking somewhat dangerous in the front third meaning the Wolves were busy at the back.
But after dealing with a decent threat early on, the Wolves took the lead against the run of play. The first attack the side had in the game led to the ball falling to the feet of captain Lachlan Scott who laid the ball off to Ofuka who finished with aplomb.
The Wolves then doubled their lead following a suburb run from left-back Walter Scott who ran half the field to lay the ball on a platter for Muratovic.
Scott could have then had a double, twisting and turning his way inside the APIA penalty area before he unleashed a powerful shot that was saved by goalkeeper Anthony Bouzanis.
After a few physical challenges including a split head to APIA's Jack Armson and a hefty challenge from centre-half Themba Muata-Marlow on Lachlan Scott, the Wolves went into the half-time break two goals to the good and Carney's first game as a coach could not have got off to a more perfect start.
The match moved into the second half and the Wolves were forced into an early substitution with star attacker Josh Macdonald going off injured and being replaced by Alex Masciovecchio.
APIA then halved the deficit 10 minutes into the second period with a goal to Rory Jordan who was lurking at the back post and got his reward.
APIA then squared the ledger late on in the match through substitute Sean Symons and the match finished 2-2.
The Wolves will next face rivals Sutherland away on Saturday February 11, 6:30pm kick-off.
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