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City, Roar share points in A-League brawl

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/12/2016 Ben McKay

An under-strength Melbourne City have paid the price for their FFA Cup exertions, limping to a 1-1 A-League draw with Brisbane.

The Roar brought discipline and verve to on Saturday night's contest, and were good value for their lead when Jamie Maclaren netted on 38 minutes.

A brain fade from Jade North allowed Nicolas Colazo to equalise early in the second half, setting in train a hectic finish to the match.

The pre-game war of words between coaches John van 't Schip and John Aloisi always threatened to boil over into the match, and it did on 54 minutes.

As City hunted an equaliser, North was guilty of over-reacting to a spat with Bruno Fornaroli, falling to the ground clutching his head.

Replays showed North dived, with the Uruguayan making minimal contact and nowhere near his face.

City played on and hurt Brisbane when Colazo netted the equaliser by running onto Nick Fitzgerald's neat backheel.

Such was the emotion on display that goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis was booked for excessive celebrations in front of the Roar bench.

In an intense contest, referee Shaun Evans lost his bearings, with several head-scratching decisions or non-decisions that had City enraged.

In the argy-bargy, there was no third goal, meaning Brisbane recorded a fourth-straight 1-1 draw.

The Roar were unlucky not to beat City for the second time this season.

Maclaren enjoyed silver service all night and, with a more lethal touch, would have been a hat-trick hero.

The Socceroo missed chances on his left foot and head before finally finishing with his preferred right.

Manny Muscat could be credited with the assist, as he cushioned Thomas Broich's cross into the path of Maclaren and allowed the Australian striker to slot home at the near post.

After City's equaliser, Maclaren and teammates Tommy Oar and the lively Dimitri Petratos could also have found the net.

But City, forced into six changes from their FFA Cup final success just 72 hours earlier, were a shade short of their usual selves, failing to cut through or play Fornaroli into the contest enough.

The result ended a run of six straight home wins for City over Brisbane, and lengthens the Roar's own unbeaten streak this campaign to seven matches.

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