Victory earn point in Brisbane

Melbourne Victory moved within five points of the top two following a 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Melbourne Victory moved within five points of the top two following a 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Leigh Broxham opened the scoring for Victory with just his second goal in 123 appearances, before Ivan Franjic levelled proceedings in the second half.

Both teams fought valiantly in search of a winner, but failed to make the required breakthrough as Victory's Nathan Coe and Roar's Michael Theo stood tall in their respective goals.

Victory remain third on the ladder with three matches to play, five points behind the second-placed Central Coast Mariners, who went down 2-0 to Sydney FC earlier in the day.

Both sides went into the clash unchanged, with possession shared evenly from the outset in ideal Brisbane conditions.

Besart Berisha was lively up front for Brisbane, keeping the Victory defence on their toes with a number of intelligent runs into the penalty area.

But it was Victory who opened the scoring in the 11th minute through an unlikely source in Broxham.

Archie Thompson showed great composure on the edge of the area before spotting Broxham, who soared above Franjic and found the net with a powerful header.

Victory should have doubled their advantage just minutes later when Thompson gathered a loose ball, only to lose his footing on the underwhelming pitch.

Franjic and Thomas Broich provided plenty of width for Roar, who continued to push forward but without troubling Coe.

Broich had a shot from outside the area that was blocked by Adrian Leijer, who again came to the rescue with a header to deny Berisha an opportunity on goal.

Daniel Mullen found himself on the end of a Marco Rojas cross, but was denied his first goal in Victory colours when Theo made a superb reflex save from close range.

Victory defended well with numbers behind the ball, frustrating Brisbane, who began to struggle under the increasing pressure.

Thompson had a golden opportunity on the stroke of half-time, pouncing on a Rojas ball before Theo produced another telling save to keep the hosts in the contest.

A rejuvenated Roar had the bulk of possession early in the second half, with Broich coming close to the target through a long-range effort that sailed over the crossbar.

Franjic broke through for the defending champions in the 60th minute, finding space on the right flank before beating Coe with a low shot from a tight angle.

Brisbane then went in search of the lead, constantly looking for ways to breach the Victory defence.

Victory defender Adama Traore was forced from the field following a challenge by Franjic, with Spase Dilevski entering the fold as a replacement.

The visitors almost reclaimed the lead through Pain on the left flank, though Theo was up to the challenge yet again.

Roar coach Mike Mulvey made a double change in search of a late winner, introducing Henrique and Ben Halloran for Stef Nijland and Jack Hingert.

But Brisbane failed to find another way past Coe, who made a stunning save in stoppage time to prevent Halloran from handing Roar the lead.

Victory will tackle Sydney next week at Allianz Stadium, where the Sky Blues have won their past six home matches.

Brisbane Roar 1 (Franjic 60) Melbourne Victory 1 (Broxham 11) Crowd: 12,624 @ Suncorp Stadium