Sydney FC’s disjointed start to their title defence continued on Saturday evening though the A-League champions showed plenty of positive signs in a scoreless draw against the in-form Brisbane Roar.
The contest sprung to life in the final half-hour with Sydney FC’s Rhyan Grant hitting the frame of the goal twice within a matter of minutes at Jubilee Stadium in Sydney.
The Roar, though, had opportunities to snatch a win and further extend their four-match winning streak.
The result lifted Brisbane into second, while Sydney – now with just three wins from six outings – remain fifth having played two matches fewer than their opponents.
A powerhouse Sydney FC triple substitution on the hour mark featuring returning star striker Bobo, Luke Brattan and Alex Baumjohann saw the Sky Blues end the contest with a wet sail, but the Roar defence remained resolute.
Leading the way was ever-reliable goalkeeper Jamie Young who made several key saves, including denying Bobo just minutes after the Brazilian entered the fray on his return following a three-year absence.
Bobo’s tally of 52 goals in 71 appearances is the A-League’s best goals per game ratio.
Brisbane Roar came into the contest as arguably the competition’s form team with their four-match winning streak yielding an impressive 13 goal tally.
But it took until midway into the first half before either goalkeeper was truly tested with Roar custodian Young at full-length to push away a Milos Ninkovic strike.
Almost immediately Andrew Redmayne made a scrambling save from James O’Shea at the other end as the contest sprung to life.
The Sky Blues beautifully carved out an opening for Kosta Barbarouses after the break, but Young was quickly out to make an impressive block.
Brisbane always looked capable of causing damage at the other end and red-hot goalscorer Dylan Wenzel-Halls came close, as did O’Shea who warmed the palms of Redmayne.
Sydney FC’s triple second-half substitution was the catalyst for a chaotic period and within 60 seconds Grant had struck the crossbar.
The Socceroo fullback hit the post just minutes later and Bobo’s header in the following play seemed goalbound until Young stuck out a leg.