BRETT Emerton is still searching for that elusive first win upon his return to Australian football after an impressive Brisbane Roar downed Sydney FC 2-0 in front of 15,789 fans at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The victory stretched Roar's unbeaten run to 30 matches and halted Sydney's bid for a club record 10 straight games without defeat. Goals either side of half-time to Besart Berisha and the classy Thomas Broich saw off the Sky Blues.
In his first game back in his home city for 15 years, Emerton was given a rapturous welcome and set out to engineer the win he couldn't deliver in the season opener.
But with national boss Holger Osieck looking on from the stands, FC's marquee man was largely invisible for much of the night.
The Socceroos midfielder put in a heavy shift off the ball, forced to defend for large periods of the match, but his touch is still not quite there and he lacks cohesion with the players around him.
No such problem for Roar who turned in their usual fluent performance to stay on top of the A-League with back-to-back victories.
Brisbane were typically keen to play a fast-paced game with ball-to-feet movement and Sydney had no option but to try and go with them.
It resulted in some thrilling end-to-end football in the first half, which saw a couple of half-chances created but nothing tangible.
It looked like ending scoreless until the visitors conjured up a goal on 42 minutes.
Paartalu smacked a left-foot drive across the face of goal which Liam Reddy took the sting off but couldn't hold.
The rebound fell at the feet of Besart Berisha who stabbed home from a couple of metres to put Brisbane ahead.
A few minutes later James Meyer had the chance to double the lead but dragged his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Nicky Carle should have done better with a chance just after the break after being freed by a lovely ball from Bruno Cazarine.
The No.10 rounded the keeper and should have pulled the trigger there and then instead of directing an ineffectual pass back towards the penalty spot.
That was about it as far as clear-cut chances for Sydney and it came as no surprise when Broich killed them off with a well-taken goal in the 72nd minute.
Former Sydney man Kofi Danning had only been on the field a matter of minutes when he broke into space down the right and slotted a cross into the penalty area.
Berisha cleverly stepped over the ball, leaving Broich to hit a clean drive from the perimeter of the box that left Reddy with no chance.