Ten-man Roar hold on for draw
Ten-man Brisbane Roar produced their best performance in the Asian Champions League with a gutsy 1-1 draw with Ulsan Hyundai in South Korea on Wednesday night.
The A-League champions stuck to their attacking instincts throughout despite having central defender Matt Jurman sent off just after halftime in an incident which turned the entertaining Group F tie on its head.
A scintillating 36th-minute goal to young striker Nick Fitzgerald had given the Roar a richly-deserved 1-0 lead at the break after enjoying the better of an action-packed first half.
But Jurman was red-carded after losing possession and his feet on the slippery surface in the box before compounding his mistake by grabbing at Kim Seung-Yong as the midfielder sized up goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos.
Theoklitos heroically saved the ensuing penalty by Lee Keun-Ho but it wasn't long after before Ulsan equalised through Lee Jae-Seong after Roar were too lax in clearing a harmless corner off their line.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Brisbane remained positive and continued to play out from the back and attack bravely in the open encounter.
The Roar - who must back up on Sunday in the second leg of their A-League major semi-final against Central Coast at Gosford - actually had the better of the second half chances and finished moral victors.
German talisman Thomas Broich again showed his class and was responsible for turning defence into a golden chance for Mitch Nichols who stumbled as he only had keeper Kim Seung-Gyu to beat in the 68th minute.
Watched by former teammates Matt McKay and Luke DeVere, both now based in South Korea, the Roar produced a bright start in the chilly conditions.
Midfield workhorse Massimo Murdocca was found unmarked in the box twice in the opening eight minutes but was unable to make the most of the chances.
While the visitors continued to threaten, the Tigers did produce a couple of scares with a header from captain Kwak Tae-Hwi hitting the crossbar and Shane Stefanutto stopping a blazing Julian Estiven Velez shot with a last-ditch header off the line.
Left-back Stefanutto was one of the Brisbane's best and almost set up a match-winner to Besart Berisha through an instinctive intercept only for the Albanian's shot to be blocked.
The Roar now have two points from three matches in the ACL but remain in the hunt to progress to the knockout stages in the halfway mark of group play.