But for the first 25 minutes there had been no reason for concern, so complete was City’s control of possession and territory.
City, despite the heat, were determined to continue their high pressing game, and that was why they were able to have so much of the ball. But possession is only nine-tenths of the law, and if a team doesn’t take chances then it is always liable to be hit on the break. And that’s exactly what happened to City in a first half in which they scored one goal and had numerous opportunities to take a clear lead.
But Brisbane was more clinical in finishing, and when they did start to get into the game were able to take their chances to go to the interval 2-1 ahead.
The goals came in the last 10 minutes of the opening period after sustained City pressure in which Lachlan Wales, particularly, had been profligate.
A Wales volley was saved by the excellent Jamie Young in the first minute, Atkinson had a shot saved, Noone drove over and then Wales again shot wide when the ball fell to him after a defensive mix up.
But Brisbane began to come more into the match after the half hour and City got a warning when Inman forced Dean Bouzanis to save in the 31st minute and Mirza Muratovic drove over.
Inman made the breakthrough in the 35th minute when City lost possession and the ball fell to Muratovic, who crossed into the penalty area. The shot was not cleared and the rebound fell to Inman, who made space well to fire past Bouzanis.
The goal was against the run of play and City immediately went in search of a leveller.
Wales was denied by Young when his header was pawed to safety in the 38th minute, but 60 seconds later the visitors got their equaliser when Scott Jamieson’s cross from the left was headed back for Noone to smash home off the post.
Young was again Brisbane’s saviour two minutes before the interval when he made a superb double save, first stopping Jamie Maclaren’s header and then blocking a Wales shot from the rebound.
Inman struck again in first half stoppage time to put the hosts ahead again and once more he made space beautifully for himself, after Aaron Amadi Holloway showed great strength to hold the ball up and lay it off.
Inman resisted the temptation to shoot straight away, danced around Josh Brillante to make his angle better and slotted past the diving Bouzanis.
City were deservedly back on terms within three minutes of the restart and Atkinson was responsible.
Mombaert’s side had good possession at the start of the second half. Brillante found Atkinson on the right outside the penalty area. The full-back took a touch, looked up and belted a powerful drive up and over Young.
Maclaren had an excellent chance to give City the lead with 11 minutes remaining when he broke through and turned defender Macaulay Gillesphey, only to be denied when the latter stuck out a leg to block him before he could get a shot off properly.
Inman had a chance to win the game deep into stoppage time but Bouzanis pulled off a fine stop to ensure the draw.