Brisbane held by resolute Melbourne

Brisbane Roar has extended its unbeaten run to 33 games following a 2-2 draw in one of the most amazing games seen in the Hyundai A-League.

Brisbane Roar has extended its unbeaten run to 33 games following a 2-2 draw in one of the most amazing games seen in the Hyundai A-League.

Melbourne Victory played more than hour with nine men and Brisbane had to come from behind to secure the away point.

In an explosive start to the match, Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Ante Covic was sent off in the first minute for bringing down Besart Berisha in the box after the striker pounced on an Adrian Leijer defensive lapse.

Henrique scored at the first asking but was forced to retake the penalty after encroachment from a team mate, but unwavering buried his second effort too.

Melbourne were back on level terms on 10 minutes when Brisbane failed to clear their lines and Archie Thompson latched onto the ball before finishing with a lob over Michael Theoklitos with the outside of his right foot.

After the frantic start, the game settled into a much calmer rhythm as the half wore on with Brisbane controlling the ball and putting the home side under pressure.

But against the run of play Melbourne took the lead when Thompson grabbed his second for the match. Harry Kewell tackled Henrique in his own half before playing a sublime through ball for Thompson who twisted and turned in the box before slotting home with his left foot.

Just seven minutes later the match provided even more excitement when Thomas Broich dispatched a free-kick under the wall and into the bottom corner to level the scores.

Following video analysis during the week by assistant coach Rado Vidosic showed the Victory wall jumping on free-kicks, Broich followed the direction to keep the ball on the ground and profited with a goal.

Two minutes later and the German could have put Brisbane in front when he latched onto an Henrique cross, but his shot hit the base of the post.

Leijer then cleared an Henrique effort off the line as the match lived up to its billing as the clash of the season to date.

Amazingly the action kept coming with Matthew Foschini sent to the sheds for a studs up tackle on Broich with 37 minutes on the clock.

With the time ticking away at the end of the first half, Erik Paartalu tried his luck from outside the box with a shot which needed saving from young Victory custodian Lawrence Thomas.

However it was Thompson with the last chance of the half when he was put through on goal but he mishit his shot and it dribbled into the hands of Theoklitos.

The second half started with Brisbane predictably controlling much of the ball with the home side defending with a resolute doggedness.

Brisbane were finally able to create a clear cut opportunity on 63 minutes when Shane Stefanutto found himself on the end of some good build up play, but his deliberate right foot shot was beaten away by Thomas in goal.

Despite large amounts of possession and late chances to Broich and Matt Jurman, the score remained locked at 2-2.

Brisbane Head Coach Ange Postecoglou said the game was difficult to analyse given the amazing events of the first half.

“I thought we got a little bit carried away with the emotion of what was going on rather than sticking to our game plan,” Postecoglou said. “We lost a bit of our focus.

“In the second half we just failed to penetrate their defence.

“We-ll take those lessons away and work on them during the week on the training track.”

Melbourne Victory (Thompson 10-, 21-) Brisbane Roar (Henrique 6-, Broich 27-) Venue: Etihad Stadium Crowd: 24,820 Referee: Ben Williams

Melbourne Victory: 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Fabio, 6. Leigh Broxham, 10. Archie Thompson, 12. Rodrigo Vargas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 15. Tom Pondeljak (20. Lawrence Thomas (GK) 2-), 16.Carlos Hernandez (18. Danny Allsopp 70-), 21. Ante Covic (GK), 22. Harry Kewell (14. Billy Celeski 64-), 23. Adrian Leijer (c)

Substitutes not used: 11. Marco Rojas,

Yellow cards: Carlos Hernandez (8-), Adrian Leijer (26-), Danny Allsopp (79-), Archie Thompson (90+3-)

Red cards: Ante Covic (1-), Matthew Foschini (36-)

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael Theoklitos (Gk), 2. Matt Smith (C), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique (11. Issey Nakajima-Farran 64-), 17. Mitch Nichols (18. Luke Brattan 70-), 22. Thomas Broich

Substitutes not used: 16. Mohamed Adnan, 20. Andrew Redmayne

Yellow cards: Besart Berisha (70-), Luke Brattan (90-)

Red cards: Nil