Brisbane Roar have grabbed a point on the road in an away game at AAMI Park against Melbourne Heart.
A second-half strike from Besart Berisha secured a valuable point away from home in one of the most entertaining games seen in the Hyundai A-League this season.
Brisbane started the match well, maintaining some early possession to keep the home side stretched.
Thomas Broich returned to the starting line-up for the first time since recovering from a heel injury and was lively early.
Brisbane had control of the match but was struggling to break down a resilient Heart defensive line.
The away side were made to pay for not making the most of their domination on 31 minutes when Jonatan Germano scored his third of the season and second against Roar.
Aziz Behich delivered the ball from wide on the left for an acrobatic effort by Alex Terra, his shot bounced off Sayed Mohamed Adnan and into the path of Germano who headed home from the edge of the six yard box.
Despite efforts from Broich, Murdocca and Adnan in the closing stages of the half Brisbane couldn’t breach the Heart defence before half time and went into the break trailing 1-0.
Brisbane’s trademark quality with passing didn’t seem to return to the field with the team at the start of the second half, with uncharacteristic mistakes handing possession to Melbourne on a regular basis.
Melbourne looked to double their lead early in the half and Michael Theoklitos had to be on his toes on 56 minutes when Germano hit a shot from inside the box which the Brisbane keeper needed to save well.
Melbourne continued to pressure as Brisbane gradually began to find its rhythm in the second stanza, but they still struggled to find the cutting edge in front of goal.
However, Brisbane’s good work with the ball finally paid off after 70 minutes when a good move down the right ended bobbling up for Besart Berisha to nod home from inside the six yard box.
Heart came hard at Brisbane in the aftermath of the equaliser and only some desperate last line defence kept the home side at bay.
Both sides threw bodies forward in the final 20 minutes in an effort to find a winner, but both had to settle for a point apiece.
Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou admitted a draw was probably a fair result, but still wasn’t satisfied with taking just one point from a very open and attacking match.
“You always want to win games so you’re never pleased to come away with anything less than that,” Postecoglou said.
“It was a cracking game, I thought both teams had some really bright moments.
“I thought we probably did enough to win the game but at the same time they also had some opportunities so in the end I thought a draw was a fair result.”
Melbourne Heart 1 (Geramano 31’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Berisha 70’)
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Chris Beath
Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint Bolton (gk), 2. Michael Marrone, 3. Brendan Hamill (4. Simon Colosimo 82’), 6. Matt Thompson (c), 8. Kristian Sarkies (7. Rutger Worm 84’), 11. Alex Terra, 13. Jonatan Germano, 16. Aziz Behich, 18. Curtis Good, 19. Eli Babalj (15. David Williams 73’), 23. Mate Dugandzic
Substitutes not used: 30. Sebastian Mattei (gk)
Yellow cards: Germano (41’)
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (gk), 2. Matt Smith (c), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu (21. James Meyer 61’), 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran (10. Henrique 46’), 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 22. Thomas Broich (4. Matt Jurman 84’)
Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew Redmayne (gk),
Yellow cards: Nakajima-Farran (19’), Henrique (60’), Murdocca (90’)
Red cards: Nil