It wasn't pretty but Melbourne City and Perth Glory have walked away from their uninspiring A-League encounter content with a point each after their 0-0 draw at AAMI Park.
Glory sat three points clear on top of the ladder going into Saturday night's clash, with City fourth but their lofty positions didn't translate into many scoring opportunities for either side.
The dour struggle in front of 6,055 fans came to life in the last 10 minutes when each side had chances to score a late winner.
Perth striker Andy Keogh drew a superb save from Eugene Galekovic in the 82nd minute then set up Jason Davidson from the rebound, but he blasted his shot high.
Soon after, Scott Jamieson's speculative cross nearly embarrassed Glory keeper Liam Reddy who was saved by the crossbar.
"I thought in the first half we were the dominant side," City coach Warren Joyce said.
"I thought we controlled the game, we controlled their threats ... we had good possession it was just the final pass or decision-making could have been better.
"The longer the game went on they were the dominant side so maybe nil-nil is a fair result."
City couldn't manufacture a shot on target in the first half, while the visitors only forced Galekovic into one save at the other end.
Florin Berenguer-Bohrer should have put Joyce's side ahead from close range in the 34th minute but the Frenchman failed to make contact with Ritchie de Laet's dangerous cross.
Referee Shaun Evans waved off pleas for a penalty soon after the restart when City's Rostyn Griffiths went to ground inside the area.
Both sides showed more attacking intent as the second half progressed and Keogh nearly broke the deadlock in the 58th minute.
Former City midfielder Neil Kilkenny put his teammate through on goal with a beautifully weighted pass, but a desperate tackle from Harrison Delbridge saved the day for the home team.
"I think overall we're happy to go home with a point," Glory coach Tony Popovic said.
"When we analyse the game I think we played well and created good opportunities.
"We had more possession than a team that has the most possession in the league, so for an away performance the only thing missing is three points."
Australian Associated Press