Brisbane Roar have opened the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season with a 0-0 derby draw against Gold Coast United at Skilled Park.
Despite controlling long periods of the game in an impressive first out performance by the new-look squad, Ange Postecoglou-s men had to be satisfied with a point to get their campaign underway.
Driven on by an extremely healthy and vocal away support, Brisbane-s players demonstrated the kind of football Postecoglou has been working hard to implement since his arrival at the club midway through last season.
As predicted by Postecoglou prior to the game, the opening to the match saw both sides testing each other out carefully.
Brisbane-s first opportunity on goal arrived in the fourth minute when Matt McKay was fouled just outside the box by Michael Thwaite, but Thomas Broich-s effort from the stoppage was blocked by the wall.
Four minutes later Shane Stefanutto was played in by a delightful ball over the top of the Gold Coast defence, but his well struck effort was pushed away by Glen Moss in the United goal.
Gold Coast nearly found a way through themselves on 15 minutes when Adam Traore worked a combination on the edge of the box with Shane Porter, but some last ditch defending by Henrique snuffed out the danger.
In the attacking third the little Brazilian was at the pointy end of an excellent Brisbane build-up when he had a shot pushed wide of the goal by Moss.
Brisbane were looking good on that ball and sprung forward on the half hour make on the quick break as Barbarouses found himself on the end of the move before having his shot well saved by Moss.
More good work between Henrique and Ivan Franjic lead to another opening for Brisbane as the ball fell to Thomas Boich on the edge of the box and he smashed the ball goalwards with Moss this time pulling off a one-handed save to deny the German.
Massimo Murdocca was forced off with a leg injury on 35 minutes, bringing Mitch Nichols into the match.
Broich again tested Moss out five minutes before the break when he his another shot on target from the edge of the area.
Following his introduction, Nichols was making a nuisance of himself and he fashioned a shot at goal just before the break which unfortunately went just the wrong side of the bar.
Gold Coast stepped up the intensity at the opening of the second stanza and very nearly had a goal when Kristian Rees foud himself under a Shane Smeltz nod back, but he couldn-t keep his header on target.
Stefanutto looked to rouse the away side with an explosive run down the left and a telling cross into Barbarouses, but the New Zealand international sent his header straight into the arms of Moss.
Gold Coast again pushed Brisbane back into their defensive third, this time Michael Thwaite whipped a good cross into the box, but Luke DeVere got enough of a header to send the ball away from the oncoming Porter and Smeltz.
Brisbane were using the full width of the park in their endeavours to find a breakthrough with both wings seeing plenty of action as they sought to find a hole in the Gold Coast defence.
Barbarouses went the direct route with Brisbane-s next chance as he burst forward on the break, before cutting inside to the edge of the box and unloading a shot which whistled just over the bar.
With 66 gone Porter found some rare space in the Brisbane defence and bore down on Michael Theoklitos in goal, but the Roar No.1 demonstrated the kind of ability which saw him twice named the Hyundai A-League goalkeeper of the year to keep the scores level.
The match was opening up with action at both ends of the park, Theklitos again came to his side-s rescue with a fine diving save from a Zenon Caravella volley before following up on the corner with a fingertip save from a Porter header.
The home side continued to turn the screws winning a series of corners to keep Brisbane on the back foot as the match entered the final 15 minutes.
However, the boys from up the M1 responded to the pressure but exerting some of their own which resulted in Moss again needing to make a fingertip save, this time from Luke DeVere.
From the following corner Moss again denied a stretching DeVere before McKay blasted the rebound just over the bar.
Shane Smeltz had two late opportunities to grab all three points but the score remained deadlocked.
Postecoglou said he was content with his team-s use of the ball throughout the match and lauded the player-s 100 per cent effort for the entire 90 minutes.
“I was really pleased with the way the guys went about it for the whole game,” Postecoglou said.
“I thought we were really dominant, particularly in that first half.
“But to the boy-s credit, when we had to defend in the second half we did that well.
“Hopefully this gives the players a little bit of extra belief now because they-ve worked really hard.”
Gold Coast United 0
Brisbane Roar 0
Sunday, 8 August, 2010
Skilled Park, Robina
Local kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Peter Green
Gold Coast United line-up: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS (16.Kristian REES 32-), 3.Michael THWAITE, 5.ROBSON (21.Golgol MEBRAHTU 74-), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 13.Bas van den BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON (7.Zenon CARAVELLA 58-), 22.Adama TRAORE
Substitutes not used: 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk)
Yellow cards: Adama TRAORE 22-, Steve PANTELIDIS 27-, Bas van den BRINK 41-, Kristian REES 90-.
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1.Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Matt SMITH, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 7.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (17.Mitch NICHOLS 36-), 10.HENRIQUE (18.Luke BRATTAN 78-), 15.Matt McKAY (c), 22.Thomas BROICH
Substitutes not used: 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 23.Milan SUSAK
Yellow cards: Matt SMITH 82-
Red cards: Nil