BRISBANE Roar has wasted another golden opportunity to climb to the top of the A-League ladder after Adelaide United held the reigning champions to a one-all draw at Suncorp Stadium.
BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Berisha '70)
ADELAIDE UNITED 1 (Ramsay '14)
For the second time in as many weeks, the Roar was within touching distance of overtaking the Central Coast Mariners at the pinnacle of the competition.
But like against Melbourne Heart in the last round, the Roar was forced to settle for a solitary point after failing to capitalise on its glut of goal-scoring chances, Besart Berisha's 18th goal of the season cancelling out Ian Ramsay's 14th minute opener.
Despite the opportunities wasted by his misfiring forward line, Roar coach Ange Postecoglou hailed his player's ability to maintain their attacking instincts.
"We created opportunities to win the game and we just couldn't take them," Postecoglou said.
"Obviously them scoring early helped that scenario as well so we were always trying to force the play.
"You can easily get frustrated but i thought the boys kept their composure and waited for their opportunities and certainly created enough to win the game."
Roar's midfield maestro Thomas Broich was the main culprit in failing to find the net, the usually sharp-shooting German spoiling three gilt-edged chances.
However, Postecoglou was quick to come to the Broich's aid, confident his star player would bag many more if afforded the same space and time for the rest of the season.
"He had a couple of opportunities, but he still created some great openings for us," Postecoglou said.
"And on another night he probably would have had a couple of goals for sure."
The Roar started the stronger, but it was Adelaide which made the early breakthrough, a swift counter-attack ripping the Roar's defence apart.
Former Roar son Dario Vidosic fed Bruce Djite from the middle of the park and the forward's strong run rattled the home side, drawing three Roar players and leaving Ramsey with acres of space to slam home.
The Roar's afternoon went from bad to worse as young midfielder Luke Brattan was stretchered off with an ugly knee injury, before Vidosic nearly gave the visitors a two goal advantage, butchering his one-on-one chance against Brisbane goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos.
The start of the second-half brought little comfort for the home fans as the Roar continued to suffer from a lack of precision passing.
But the groans of agony finally gave way to cheers of delight as the Roar, after 70 minutes of disjointed play, pulled level through Berisha.
It may have taken an Adelaide error for the Roar to restore parity, but Berisha - still on track to claim the A-League's all-time scoring record - took his chance after Kofi Danning pounced on a loose backpass to square the ball to the waiting Albanian.
And the Roar could have, and more than probably should have, claimed the winner ten minutes later, but by the time Broich and Danning had decided who should take the shot, United's Antony Golec had positioned himself on the line to twice deny Broich.
There was still time for a late penalty shout for a crude challenge on the Roar's Rocco Visconte, but the Adelaide United rearguard held strong and staved off the remaining attacks.
Adelaide United coach John Kosmina had only praise for his players' performances, commending their efforts after a long and arduous travel schedule for the side's Asian Champion's League match in Uzbekistan had left them flat on their backs after the final whistle.
"We finished on Tuesday night, got on the plane, got off the plane, and came back up here and continued where we left off," he said.
"We were a little slow out of the blocks ... but today capped off a fantastic week.
"And the players need to be congratulated, because it's a hell of an effort to do what they did Tuesday night and to come here and do this as well."
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