Brisbane Roar failed to conjure the win needed to secure a Hyundai A-League Premiership after they drew 0-0 with a youthful Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.
With Adelaide United defeating Melbourne City 2-0 on Friday night, the Reds are now Hyundai A-League Premiers, crowning a remarkable rise in fortunes for Gui Amor’s men.
For Brisbane, it was a hugely disappointing evening when three points against an inexperienced Victory side was the only scenario required to lift silverware.
After a nervy first half with few highlights, Maclaren, Henrique and Bozanic all had good chances to open the scoring in the second half as tension heightened in the final, frantic few minutes.
And keeper Lawrence Thomas saved Victory in stoppage time with an incredible save when Roar should've sealed the win just a minute before Thomas Broich blew a chance to win it in the final minute - his shot screwing wide from inside the six-yard box.
Now the hope for Roar is Wanderers don't win in Wellington.
Matt McKay missed an absolute sitter on just two minutes. Literally a metre in front of goal at the far post, the Socceroo midfielder failed to bury a cross swung in from the right. How they’d rue that miss.
And Thomas denied Jamie Maclaren just before the hour mark in a one-on-one after the marksman broke through the centre of the Victory defence.
And with a minute left Broich had a golden chance and he blew it.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
- Tonight's result was the first time Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar have played out a goalless draw.
- Brisbane Roar still haven’t won in Melbourne since January 2014.
Oar’s 60 minutes of incisive runs and enthusiasm augers well for the future at Roar and the national team.
Bad news for Brisbane with Dimi Petratos withdrawn late in the second half with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.
THE FINAL WORD
Brisbane now must hope Wanderers don't win on Sunday. They could lose second spot depending on the result in New Zealand.
Victory again showed why they are a big club. There was no thought of taking it easy with Valeri leading his young side in what was a thoroughly professional performance from the Big V, who did their bitter rivals from South Australia a huge favour.
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk), Geria (Murnane 83’), Deng, Gallifuoco, Galloway, Nigro (Pain 73), Finkler, Makarounas, Valeri (c) (Bozanic 60’), Howard, Ben Khalfallah
SUBS - Vukovic (gk), Ingham, Murnane, Pain, Bozanic
Brisbane Roar: Young (gk), Hingert, North, Brown, Donachie, Corona, McKay (c), Petratos (Lustica 73’), Oar (Henrique 60’), Maclaren, Broich
SUBS - Theo (gk), Bowles, Henrique, Lustica, Borrello
Red Cards: Nil
Yellow Cards: Oar, Geria, Nigro, Pain
Conditions: 18°C, fine
Attendance: 20,012 at AAMI Park