Spoils shared in Sydney

Sydney FC has overcome a slow start to claim a 1-1 draw and a much-needed point against an in-form Queensland Roar at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night.

Sydney FC has overcome a slow start to claim a 1-1 draw and a much-needed point against an in-form Queensland Roar at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night.

Having struggled to find their rhythm throughout the first hour, Sydney answered Matt McKay's 12th-minute strike through captain Steve Corica against the run of play on 64 minutes.

The equaliser sparked John Kosmina's men -and the frustrated home crowd - who came close to stealing all three points on more than one occasion.

Both sides endured nervous moments late in proceedings with Danny Tiatto's 82nd minute strike only denied by a sharp save from Sydney custodian Ivan Necevski while Mitchell Nichols saved the day for the visitors clearing Corica's late strike off the line to share the points.

The teams formed a guard of honour for recently retired Sydney FC captain Tony Popovic before kick-off but the Roar's generosity of spirit ended there.

Sydney FC made a sharp start with John Aloisi and Mark Bridge both firing early shots on goal from inside the box but a blistering run down the left wing from Roar young-gun Michael Zullo sounded an ominous warning for the Sky Blues.

There were more promising signs for Sydney who exhibited some crisp first-touch passing but it was the Roar who struck first in the 12th minute on the back of some Tahj Minniecon brilliance.

Minniecon scorched past right fullback Shannon Cole and let fly from the edge of the box - Necevski failed to control the powerful strike in the slippery conditions leaving McKay the easiest of chances to steal the early 1-0 lead.

Momentum remained with the visitors who were unlucky not to have at least doubled the advantage having created a string of chances in the opening half hour of play.

The most promising raid came off the back of some good work from Zullo who delivered a clever ball for a Sergio Van Dijk who in turn laid the ball back for Charlie Miller to unleash a thunderous right-foot strike - only a top-class save from Necevski denied the Roar a deserved two-goal buffer.

A rare raid inside enemy territory brought Sydney's best chance of the opening stanza when a clever flick from Bridge put Aloisi in the clear, but the marquee man failed to hit the target with his right boot.

The Roar suffered a blow five minutes out from half-time when danger man Miller limped from the field but his replacement - veteran Danny Tiatto - almost made an immediate impact when his seemingly innocuous shot on goal sent Necevski diving to his right on the stroke of half-time.

Queensland's speed merchants continued to ask questions of the Sydney siders' defence but could not make them pay on the scoreboard as first Zullo and then McKay failed to convert golden opportunities.

And the Sky Blues made the most of the Roar's generosity when Corica found the back of the net.

Robbie Middleby's searching cross towards the far post narrowly avoided Tiatto's outstretched boot allowing Corica to steer the ball home for a dramatic equaliser.

Sydney looked set to take an unlikely lead five minutes later when Middleby delivered another brilliant cross for Bridge who found the cross bar with his close-range header.

The game opened up as both sides pushed for maximum points but neither side could land the killer blow in a thrilling finish.

Sydney FC 1 (Corica 64') Queensland Roar 1 (McKay 12') at Sydney Football Stadium. Crowd: 9,132