Melbourne City were held to a 1-1 draw by Brisbane Roar in a tempestuous A-League contest on Saturday.
Tim Cahill headed City to FFA Cup glory in Wednesday’s final against Sydney FC, but they were unable to continue their momentum at AAMI Park.
The pre-match build-up had been mired by a back-and-forth between City boss John van ‘t Schip and predecessor John Aloisi, who now coaches Brisbane.
At times, the bad blood spilled onto the pitch with a series of poor challenges, but Jamie Maclaren finished a wonderful Roar move in the 38th minute to put the visitors ahead.
However, second-placed City equalised in the 54th minute in contentious circumstances. Veteran Roar defender Jade North went down clutching his face following a coming together with Bruno Fornaroli, with whom he had an ongoing battle, despite there being seemingly limited contact.
While both teams awaited a whistle, none was forthcoming, allowing City to play on and Nicolas Colazo to net the equaliser as Roar drew for the fourth consecutive game.
In Saturday’s other match, Central Coast Mariners had a day to forget as they were beaten 4-1 at home by Western Sydney Wanderers.
Blake Powell put the Mariners in front in just the fifth minute, but Jumpei Kusukami responded immediately, and goals from Nicolas Martinez and Jake McGing gave the visitors a comfortable advantage.
Wanderers goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson was sent off on the hour mark, but Central Coast could capitalise on their extra man and Brendon Santalab added gloss to the scoreline for Western Sydney late on.