Stalemate at Suncop in battle of the Queenslanders

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A late equaliser from defender Ivan Franjic gave the Brisbane Roar a share of the spoils in their derby clash with the North Queensland Fury.

It was top against bottom coming into the game at Suncorp Stadium and Brisbane, who were playing their ninth game in just 36 days, welcomed back skipper Matt McKay who had been on international duty for the Socceroos midweek. For the Fury, Isaka Cernak was given a starting spot to face his former club.

It was all Brisbane early on but the visitors took the lead on nine minutes when David Williams crossed form the right and Gareth Edds, running into the box from midfield, beat the defence to turn the ball home.

The pattern continued in much the same fashion for the first half with the hosts having up to 70% possession at one stage.

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They came close to fashioning an equaliser twice but Franjic’s cross cum shot struck the bar while Erik Paartalu headed straight at Justin Pasfield just before the interval.

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Ten minutes into the second half the Fury wasted a wonderful opportunity to double their lead when Jason Spanguolo somehow contrived to miss an open goal after being found by another superb delivery from Williams.

The home side thought they had fashioned an equaliser just before the hour mark when substitute Juan Carlos Solorzano netted but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Having dominated for most of the game, the Roar finally drew level with just five minutes remaining when Matt McKay crossed from the left and Franjic was on hand to fire past Pasfield.

After the game Fury boss Franz Straka said he will delighted to end a run of defeats while also putting a good performance.

“I’m very happy with the point, especially after three defeats. We played very well tactically, which was the key to our success,” he said.

“They play some excellent football, but we did well to close the gaps and shut down a lot of their midfield play.”

His opposite number Ange Postecoglou had kind words for the Fury, while also stating that he was happy with the attitude of his players.

“Credit to the Fury, they came here with a plan and it worked well for them. They were good.”

“You can’t question the commitment of our blokes. There wasn’t a lot of space and we lacked a little bit of spark, but individuals stood up when we needed and it was great for Ivan to get the goal”

Brisbane Roar: M Theoklitos, I Franjic, L DeVere, M Smith, M Mundy, E Paartalu, M Murdocca, M McKay, T Broich, K Barbarouses, Reinaldo.

Subs: A Redmayne, J C Solorzano, M Nichols, M Susak.

North Queensland Fury: J Pasfield, S Storey, M Hughes, P Nikas, B McDonald, U Talay, G Edds, O Malik, J Spagnuolo, I Cernak, D Williams.

Subs: S Usai, J Hingert, A Kilian, C Payne.

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