Keepers save day in derby

World-class goalkeeping efforts from both Gold Coast United and Brisbane Roar have ensured this season’s first M1 Derby remained scoreless at Skilled Park on Sunday.

World-class goalkeeping efforts from both Gold Coast United and Brisbane Roar have ensured this season-s first M1 Derby remained scoreless at Skilled Park on Sunday.

United keeper Glen Moss and Roar custodian Michael Theoklitos both have the title of being ex-Victory keepers, and both were in no mood to concede, making countless saves throughout the entertaining match.

Gold Coast striker Joel Porter had the best chance of the match mid-way through the second-half when he streaked into the penalty box, however Theoklitos came steaming off his line to thwart the attack.

Brisbane captain Matt McKay then had everyone off their seats with minutes remaining, firstly blazing an almost guaranteed goal high from close range and driving a blistering shot low toward Moss who dived athletically to his left tipping the ball out into safety.

Making his long awaited return from injury, Shane Stefanutto fired the Roar-s first warning shot on eight minutes when he latched onto a deep long-ball from McKay and forced United gloveman Glen Moss in to a save down low with a hard, angled, drive.

Dictating the play with some slick passing Brisbane again tested Gold Coast-s defence just minutes later, as Thomas Broich and McKay combined well to play Henrique into the box.

Forcing a fingertip save from Moss, the Brazilian-s effort was unlucky not to be parried straight into the path of a hastily arriving Erik Paartalu as United defenders held their breath at the back once more.

Feeling some frustration, United left-back Adama Traore quickly found his way into referee Peter Green-s book as did serial offender Steve Pantelidis, courtesy of a rash tackle.

But when Kosta Barbarouses fired hard at Moss from close range, Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg had enough and sensing a possible send-off for Pantelidis, saw fit to introduce his defensive mainstay from last season in Kristian Rees.

Brisbane too had their own personnel troubles with midfielder Massimo Murdocca-s injury forcing a re-shuffle in the centre as Mitch Nichols came into the fray, however the unfazed Roar continued to trouble Gold Coast.

As the half progressed impressive German recruit Broich kept up his intensity and another warning came in the 34th minute when his powerful left-foot effort was too hot to handle for Moss – the deflected ball flicked thankfully over the bar by the custodian-s finger-tips.

The half-time whistle couldn-t come soon enough for United with one-way traffic continuing from the Roar – the three-pronged attack of Broich, Henrique and Barbarouses causing the home side all kinds of defensive headaches as Gold Coast front-men Shane Smeltz and Joel Porter struggled to have any influence.

Picking up from where they left off Brisbane continued to press for an opening goal in the second, and came agonisingly close on 63 minutes when Barbarouses cut-in from the left and curled his shot just over.

Trying to turn things back their way Gold Coast pushed forward three minutes later, and after hardly touching the ball Roar keeper Michael Theoklitos was quickly called into action rushing off his line to thwart Porter as he turned past centre back Matthew Smith and rushed into the box.

After having the best chance of the match the pressure continued for United and Theoklitos was kept busy, firstly parrying to safety from Zenon Caravella-s dangerous volley and then from the resulting corner tipping Porter-s back-post header clear.

Holding back three attempts in four minutes Ange Postecoglou-s men had a great chance to grab the lead when big defender Luke DeVere moved forward for a corner and found the ball at his feet.

Hitting the ball straight Moss forcing an instinctive save, Devere-s rebound fell perfectly for McKay to finish, but the captain couldn-t keep his shot down as he blazed high over the bar from close range.

Both sides continued to trade blows as the final whistle neared, McKay coming the closest when his low shot from outside the box had Moss scrambling to his left to make another fine save.

Gold Coast United 0
Brisbane Roar 0

Crowd: 6,394 @ Skilled Park 8/08/10