The width of the crossbar was the difference as Brisbane Roar and Central Coast played to a 0-0 draw at a soggy Moreton Daily Stadium.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between on the rain-drenched pitch, but both sides came close to breaking the deadlock late in Wednesday night's match. Roar striker Joseph Champness struck the crossbar in the 75th minute when he lobbed goalkeeper Mark Birighitti from the edge of the box. And then in the third minute of stoppage time, Mariners captain Oliver Bozanic produced an even more brilliant effort when he unleashed a curling strike from 24 yards out. The ball lobbed high in the air and curled down rapidly before bouncing off the crossbar, much to the relief of Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young.
The result saw the Mariners jump from fourth to second, despite their winless run now extending to six matches. The Roar moved up to sixth spot, two points adrift of the Mariners.
"It's been a pattern of our games in recent times. We tend to have periods where we dominate and we don't capitalise," Mariners coach Alen Stajcic told Fox Sports.
"We let teams off the hook. I thought we should have been one or two up in the first half.
"We really need that polish and cutting edge.
"We're aiming for the top two. We've been first or second for most of the season. It's been an amazing accomplishment from these players this year to keep us up for so long, and we want to finish off the job."
Prematch downpours meant a water-logged pitch greeted both sides, with the quality of play suffering as a result. Mariners defender Stefan Nigro had his heart in his mouth when his slip on the wet surface allowed Champness to steal the ball and race towards goal. Birighitti dived low with his left hand outstretched to keep out that strike, and the rest of the half belonged mostly to the Mariners.
Central Coast encroached into Brisbane's box time and again, but they lacked the final touch to break the deadlock.
Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young was a rock in the first half, ensuring the score was 0-0 at the break.
Champness thought he broke the deadlock in the opening minute of the second half, but the Roar striker's goal was ruled out for offside.
"It wasn't our best performance on the ball but we battled hard," Roar midfielder Jay O'Shea said.
"We defended well though."