Nothing to split Mariners and Roar in 0-0 draw
Brisbane Roar will finish Matchweek 20 in the top six after drawing 0-0 with Central Coast Mariners at Moreton Daily Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Queensland outfit were presented with the chance to go second with a home win but neither side could find the back of the net in the goalless stalemate. The Mariners instead took outright ownership of second spot by the end of the contest, going one ahead of three sides locked on 32 to points and eight behind the league-leading Melbourne City.
The crossbar was hit at either end in the second 45, with the lively Joey Champness going closest to breaking the deadlock for the Roar before Mariners captain Oliver Bozanic caught a back-pedalling Jamie Young off his line, only to strike the woodwork in second-half stoppage time.
First-half chances to Daniel Bouman and Alou Kuol were denied by Young in Brisbane's goal, as was an early strike by Champness down the other end by Mark Birighitti. Matt Simon flashed an attempt just wide of the mark off a free-kick routine in the second stanza as the Mariners looked to get reward for promising build-up play, but defensive solidity won out on the night as neither strike force was able to make the vital breakthrough.
Brisbane edged Western Sydney Wanderers out of the Finals Series standings with the point earned against the Mariners, as the race for a place in the top six took another interesting turn at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Central Coast Mariners enjoyed periods of promising attacking intent throughout the first half but couldn't find the goal to reward effort as the two sides went into the break goalless at Moreton Daily Stadiu.
Roar forward Champness was the first player to test either 'keeper with a low shot to Mark Birighitti's left after Stefan Nigro's slip, allowing Champness to collect on the left flank and call the Mariners stopper into a smart save.
Kuol received a second-consecutive Mariners start, but his goal drought continued when his shot hit from outside the box was prevented from finding the bottom-right corner by a Jamie Young save.
The Mariners went closest to opening the scoring in the first half when Bouman opened up space in the box to test Young from a tight angle.
Nigro fed Bouman the ball off the right wing and the Mariners man nutmegged Macaulay Gillesphey to set up the shot, firing across goal and asking Young to produce a fine save to keep the ball out.
After a scoreless first half, Brisbane put the ball in the back of the net just seconds after the restart - but an offside call was to deny the home side the lead.
Champness began the move and finished it, plucking the ball from the sky before finding Dylan Wenzel-Halls to shoot. The Roar striker was denied by Birighitti but Champness swooped in on the rebound, firing the ball off the post before bundling it over the line in the aftermath.
The celebrations were short-lived as the offside flag was raised after Champness ventured past the defensive line to finish.
Bozanic flashed one shot past the post from outside the box for the Mariners, before Jay O'Shea lashed a powerful free-kick directly at Birighitti - which was saved with a strong glove.
Champness hit the side netting with a low shot toward the near post off the left flank before the pacy attacker tried to find the top-right corner ten minutes later, beating Young but hitting the crossbar.
A Simon shot from a free-kick routine came in between the two Champness chances, but the low attempt skimmed off the wet surface and faded past the left-hand goalpost.
As the contest ticked into second-half stoppage time, the Mariners found one last avenue to goal - but the woodwork came to Brisbane's rescue as it did down the other end to deny Champness the winner.
Bozanic collected the ball in attack and shaped to cross toward Simon, but the trajectory took the ball away from the six-yard box where Simon was attacking and toward the top-right corner. Young made a diving save backwards but couldn't get a glove on the ball - thankfully for the home side, however, the shot lacked the dip to beat the crossbar.
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
Saturday, May 15 2021
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 7.10pm AEST
Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, May 16 2021
Kick-off: 6.10pm AEST
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