Adelaide United remain undefeated after a goalless draw with Sydney FC on Friday night at Coopers Stadium.
The Reds had the weight of possession and chances, but could not put the ball into the back of the net in front of 16, 015 home fans.
United are now undefeated in 12 consecutive matches in Adelaide and are sitting pretty in second spot on the A-League ladder.
[quote]Josep Gombauís side will rue the missed chance to displace Sydney at the top of the table, however, and will also be sweating on the fitness of in-form striker Bruce Djite, who was substituted at half-time with a thigh injury.[/quote]
Josep Gombauís side will rue the missed chance to displace Sydney at the top of the table, however, and will also be sweating on the fitness of in-form striker Bruce Djite, who was substituted at half-time with a thigh injury.
It could have been worse for the home team after a 35m Nikola Petkovic free kick found the back of the net in the 68th minute, only to be disallowed as the referee had yet to blow his whistle for the re-start.
It would have been a cruel result for the Reds had the goal been allowed as they dominated the match in all aspects except on the scoreboard.
United had 11 shots on goal to two in the first half, with Sergio Cirioís sprayed left-footer just five metres out in the 41st minute the best of them.
Awer Mabil also failed to make the most of three excellent chances and after his third, a fantastic 20 metre strike that forced a wonderful save from Sky Blues keeper Vedran Janjetkovic, Reds fans began to wonder if it would be their night.
When Marcelo Carrusca, perhaps the form player in the A-League, missed a simple winner in injury time, those suspicions were confirmed.
Gombau was philosophical after the match Ė happy to take a point and remain unbeaten, but clearly annoyed that his team could not fine the winner they so deserved.
His counterpart in Graham Arnold conceded the home side was better on the night but was pleased to come away with a point and remain top of the A-League.
That position could be usurped by Melbourne Victory, who are only a point behind and face the winless Newcastle at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
Rest assured both Gombau and Arnold will have an eye on that match.
After five rounds, Adelaide and Sydney, along with the Victory, are shaping as the front-runners of the competition and it will be interesting to see how their fortunes fair from this point on.
The two clubs will next meet in Sydney on Boxing Day and if each can hold their form, it will be another blockbuster clash.
What did you think of Friday nightís result?