Queensland Roar were again unable to defeat Central Coast Mariners, the game ending 1-1 at Suncorp tonight, with Roar missing a chance to take outright 2nd place overnight, joining Adelaide on 16 points.
The short tradition of draws in the League between Queensland and Central Coast was continued as a first half goal by the re-signed Damian Mori was cancelled by an early goal after the break by Reinaldo, but despite the local side dominating posession they could not break down the Mariners defence in depth.
With Dario Vidosic away with the Young Soceroos Miron Bleiberg continued shuffling his pack, as the vistors tried to deal with injuries to key defenders.
The Roar started in its usual attacking mode and the 4th minute speculator by defender Ben Griffin showed that they were pressuring solidly.
In the 19th minute the threat of Damian Mori was clearly seen when he got behind the home defence on the left, and sent over a cross that perhaps deserved a better outcome.
in the 21st minute Damian Mori received a pass from Paul O'Grady just outside the goal area and, as Josh McCloughan tried to hold him, he slipped left and curled a shot that Roar 'keeper Liam Reddy got a touch to but could not deny the ball it's path inside the far post. 0-1
In the 32nd minute live-wire Queensland midfielder Matt McKay was about to unleash a drive when Paul O'Grady underlined his improving form with a very timely and clean tackle.
A header by Stuart McLaren off a Spase Dilevski corner from the left went over but was indicative of the threat that the Roar were posing.
It was end to end stuff late in the first half, with the Mariners especially dangerous on the counter attack. Mori robbed by McCloughan, and then Vukovic rising high to take a dangerous cross under pressure.
In injury time Tom Pondeljak sent in an intriguing long ball from the right, reminiscent of his heyday, which curled late toward the far post and required Liam Reddy to tip it over.
The reply from the Roar came early, in the 49th minute when another Dilevski corner from the left this time found a surging Reinaldo who beat Noel Spencer to the ball and hit a header into the top of the net.
Mori nearly repeated his feat when in the 52nd minute he was on the end of a long ball out of defence, beat the solid Ognenovski, but then shot just wide this time.
On minute later Tom Pondeljak shot just wide on the right.
No shortage of shots, as Matt McKay shot after getting free but he was wide with Danny Vukovic closing fast.
The Mariners were put under sustained pressure again and in the 66th minute substitute Jamie McMaster was reduced to a long range speculator.
A great chance for the Roar when Andrew Packer moved over to the right side and made space for himself to unleash a piledriver on target that Vukovic had to cover with his body. Packer got in a header a few minutes later.
The Mariners weren't getting all men behind the ball though, searching for a winner, and in the 85th minute central defender Alex Wilkinson got foward for a header that went over.
Two minutes later Roar substitute Marcus Wedau hit a snap shot that Vukovic touched over the crossbar.
With a few minutes left another Roar substitute Ante Milicic was just wide from the left, and the game ended 1-1.
Both sides needed the 3 points badly, perhaps the Mariners more though a draw away is often seen as acceptable. The home side moved to 2nd overnight shading Adelaide United on goal difference, and the Central Coast moved back to 5th above their key rivals Newcastle.