That said, City also had a few chances in an opening 45 minutes in which Kisnorbo handed new signings Andrew Nabbout, Aiden O’Neill and Ben Garuccio (back for his second stint with the club) places in the starting line-up.

Jamie Maclaren set up Luna in the third minute, but he blasted well over. After that Roar stepped up the tempo, pressed strongly and, with Wenzel-Halls chasing down every ball, started to take control.

Wenzel-Halls could have put his side in front in the eighth minute when he was played through with just Tom Glover to beat. But the big City goalkeeper did well to deflect his shot wide for a corner.

The striker headed over from a Corey Brown cross, then had another shot saved by Glover before Nabbout hit the side netting with a header from a Craig Noone cross.

Shortly after City had their best chance of the opening half when Maclaren found Metcalfe inside the area. As he has done so often in the past, Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young stood tall and denied the City youngster from close range.

Brisbane were made to rue their profligacy soon after the restart when Metcalfe made amends for his first-half miss in the 52nd minute.

Again the powerful midfielder linked with Maclaren, playing a one-two with the Socceroo striker before bursting into the area and then lifting a curling shot past Young.

After such a dominant opening 45 minutes Roar’s pace and intensity dropped off and City, after hitting the front, began to play with more authority.

Metcalfe is mobbed by his Melbourne City teammates.

Metcalfe is mobbed by his Melbourne City teammates.Credit:Getty Images

Still, Roar were a threat from set pieces and nearly levelled when Macaulay Gillesphey headed Brown’s free kick against the cross bar as Nabbout was substituted with a hamstring problem.

Roar’s chances increased when, with 22 minutes remaining, Luna was sent off after picking up what looked like a soft yellow card, his second of the night, for a rather innocuous looking challenge.

Brisbane had a golden opportunity to equalise in the dying moments when Glover came rushing out of his goal to be trapped in no man’s land but Riku Danzaki’s shot towards an empty net was lacking power and City got back to clear.

It was a metaphor for a game in which Roar could not take their chances – and City took the one that counted.

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