A-League: Brisbane Roar 0-0 Central Coast Mariners
Brisbane and Central Coast are still searching for their first A-League wins of the season after fighting out a dour 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Both sides had their chances but neither was able to take them in the first scoreless stalemate of the new season at Suncorp Stadium.
But it wasn’t without controversy, with both sides having reasonable penalty claims turned down by referee Daniel Elder.
Massimo Maccarone appeared to have been brought down by goalkeeper Ben Kennedy in the 32nd minute as he chased down the ball but was deemed to be offside.
Replays were inconclusive and Roar coach John Aloisi was left incensed on the sidelines, fuming at how quickly the assistant referee had put his flag up for what he said was a “borderline” call.
Aloisi later said he thought the advantage should have been given to Maccarone, and allowed the video assistant referee (VAR) to decide if it was offside or not.
His opposite number, Mariners coach Paul Okon, was also in disbelief that Jack McGing didn’t win a penalty after he was clearly infringed upon by Avram Papadopoulos, who climbed on top of him to win a header in the second half.
— Brisbane Roar (@brisbaneroar) November 5, 2017
“I can’t get a yellow card here, can I? No red cards in here? No one’s got one?” a sarcastic Okon said in the post-match news conference. “I don’t know. Sometimes the rules get changed during the game, I don’t know — [maybe] FIFA phones up and says the rules have changed. I have no idea.”
Meanwhile, Maccarone could face scrutiny this week after an off-the-ball collision with Asdrubal, in which he appeared to strike his the Mariners striker’s face with his forearm. Once again, no foul was given and the video assistant referee didn’t call for one either.
The result does neither the Roar nor the Mariners, who are battling to find form, any real favours. However, it is the first clean sheet of the season for both sides, who also had four shots on target apiece.
The hosts nearly stole it with an injury-time corner kick but Jade North’s bullet header was blocked by Kennedy.
Maccarone was involved in the Roar’s best passages of play, with the Italian veteran getting a header on target in the ninth minute while also narrowly missing a deft chipped shot in the 20th minute.
“Are we happy that we haven’t won yet? No, but it was important to get that clean sheet and hopefully we can build on that for the next game,” Aloisi said.
The Mariners’ best chance fell to Daniel De Silva, who was gifted a shot on goal by a wayward Mitch Oxborrow backpass. But the teenager couldn’t take advantage and fired his shot at gloveman Jamie Young, who made a comfortable save.
“But goals win games, and neither side managed to do that. So maybe a point’s a fair result,” Okon said.
The Mariners also lost experienced defender Alan Baro to a quad injury early in the second half.