A-League: Macarthur and Roar in stalemate

Daniel Arzani lasted 60 minutes in his A-League comeback as Australia Cup winners Macarthur FC were held to a 0-0 draw by Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The former Melbourne City prodigy, who has spent the past four seasons in Europe, is bidding to force his way into the Socceroos squad for the World Cup starting in November in Qatar,

However, in his first A-League appearance for the Bulls, attacking weapon Arzani failed to make an impact and was replaced after an hour by Englishman Craig Noone.

Arzani wasn’t the only player to struggle in attack in a frustrating 90 minutes for both sides.

The Roar had been hoping to celebrate their long-awaited return to Suncorp Stadium with a win, while the Bulls were seeking to continue the form that secured them victory in last Saturday’s Australia Cup final.

However, both teams had to settle for a share of the points in a contest that neither side deserved to win,

The Roar dominated early but it was Macarthur who had the two best chances of the first half.

The first came in the 34th minute after what seemed to be a misunderstanding between Roar captain Tom Aldred and his goalkeeper Jordan Holmes.

Aldred allowed a ball to run across the face of Brisbane’s penalty area, believing Holmes would come to fetch it,

However, Holmes didn’t move, allowing Bulls striker Al Hassan Toure to pounce on the loose ball

But much to the Roar’s relief, Holmes recovered to smother Toure’s goal-bound strike.

Three minutes later Toure was again involved as the Bulls blew another great chance.

This time the former Adelaide United prodigy was the provider, laying the ball into the path of unmarked teammate Anthony Carter.

However, Carter somehow managed to spoon his shot over the crossbar with an open goal in front of him.

Carter had another chance when he left fly with a stinging 55th minute volley that was well saved by Holmes.

The Roar’s best chance fell to prized import Charlie Austin, whose glancing 71st minute header brought a smart save out of Bulls keeper Filip Kurto.

Brisbane coach Warren Moon said: “I felt everyone knew their roles defensively and we nullified the threat of (Ulises) Davila, Arzarni and Toure. They were relatively quiet and that’s all credit to our defence structure.”

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