Coaches find positives

Both coaches claimed moral victories after Sydney FC-Melbourne hostilities resumed with a 0-0 draw in the Hyundai A-League season opener at the SFS on Saturday night.

Both coaches claimed moral victories after Sydney FC-Melbourne hostilities resumed with a 0-0 draw in the Hyundai A-League season opener at the SFS on Saturday night.

For the ninth time in 10 meetings between the arch enemies, Sydney failed to grab all three points against Victory in an entertaining - albeit goal-less - affair.

After the match, coaches John Kosmina (Sydney) and Ernie Merrick (Melbourne) both felt their respective sides had done enough to win the match, but were happy to share the points.

"We felt as though we should have taken all three points, particularly with the chances we had in the first half," Merrick said.

"Even in the second half we created chances."

"But to come here and say we're really disappointed not to take all three points speaks volumes for how we played."

"I felt we dominated at the back and had a lot of possession in the middle and created chances - probably four gilt-edged chances - and didn't put them away."

"You weigh it up and overwhelmingly we had the better chances."

Sydney FC went in to the game with an all-star cast sitting in the stands unavailable for a variety of reasons.

There was no Tony Popovic, no Alex Brosque and no John Aloisi just to name three.

Kosmina was forced to hand debuts to State League products Shannon Cole and Chris Payne, with both rising to the occasion.

Cole almost enjoyed a fairytale start to his A-League career - his 69th minute free kick smacking against Melbourne's left post.

"It was a good battle for us. It says a lot. It says a lot for the players who actually played tonight, probably more than the blokes who are coming back," Kosmina pointed out.

"It augurs well for the future. It does say a lot for the blokes who had to step up."

"(We used) two debutants in Chris Payne and Shannon Cole so we've got a bit of depth."

"In the second half we more than took the game to Melbourne and maybe could have come out of it with something."

"We're pretty pleased with the result."

Skipper Steve Corica added: "We went to win the game but with the players that were out ... that (the draw) was a big boost for us."

"That's a decent result because they're a good team."

Kosmina singled out goalkeeper Clint Bolton for special praise after the Sydney gloveman thwarted Victory on numerous occasions.

"Clint Bolton was exceptional in goals but that's what keepers are there for," Kosmina said.

"He did a great job for us. He saved us."