SOCCEROOS coach Holger Osieck gave fringe Roos a final chance to impress as Australia were held to a goalless stalemate by UAE in their final friendly ahead of the Asian Cup.
Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill, Brett Emerton, Mark Schwarzer and Jason Culina were among the big names to watch the full game from the sidelines as Osieck blooded new faces in an experimental line-up.
Nathan Burns played the full game upfront and Scott McDonald was given yet another chance to prove himself for his country but neither could find the back of the net.
In defence Lucas Neill was paired successfully with Sasa Ognenovski in a promising partnership that unfortunately looks unlikely to last for long after the Asian Cup's completion.
In the second half, Tommy Oar, Neil Kilkenny and Robbie Kruse were all given a run, with Kilkenny the most impressive of the subs, rarely putting a foot wrong as he sprayed the ball short, near, far and wide, finding his man almost every time.
But although the Roos started the game brightly, the impetus began to be lost after just 17 minutes and the rest of the first half became increasingly sloppy as Australia's passing wandered while Mile Jedinak and Luke Wilkshire became ever more physical.
Changes in the second half saw Jade North brought on at right back, while Nathan Coe replaced Brad Jones in goal, as well as the introduction of the youngsters - and although Australia regained composure, they rarely threatened.
Skipper Neill appeared to score his first goal for his country only for it to be disallowed for a mystery infringement in the box while Matt McKay failed to take advantage of a couple of golden opportunities.
Towards the end of the half though, the pendulum had swung firmly in UAE's favour and after a series of threatening set pieces from Subait Khater, UAE twice had shots on target that were only denied by a great save from Coe and then Fares Juma clattered the woodwork.
Ultimately though the game ended in deadlock with Australia's impotence upfront shining through yet again in the absence of chief goalscorer Cahill and his scoring duty sidekick Holman having a 2009-style night.
However the match was less about the result than allowing Osieck a chance to look at the depth of his squad - and while the new faces are still massively underdone, it at least showed some potential.
Whether it will have time to gel to pose a serious threat at the Asian Cup remains the uncomfortable question facing the Socceroos though...but one that will be answered by the end of the month.