Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy was amongst Huddersfield Town's best players but was unable to break the deadlock against Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship's promotion play-offs.
Wednesday held on for a scoreless draw in Sunday's first leg at The John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield, leaving the play-off semi-final evenly poised ahead of the second leg in three days' time.
Mooy was lively for large periods - mirroring the type of form that saw him crowned Huddersfield's Player of the Year earlier this month - but the 26-year-old and his team-mates were frustrated by the visitors in the Yorkshire derby.
The winner of this tie will face the victor from Fulham versus Reading at Wembley Stadium on May 29 with a spot in the Premier League on offer.
With Huddersfield manager David Wagner setting the Terriers up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Mooy - who is on loan from Manchester City - played alongside Jonathan Hogg at the base of midfield.
While Hogg played as a classic defensive midfielder, screening the hosts' back four, Mooy had a slightly freer role and was the more advanced of the central pair.
Aaron Mooy, Huddersfield Town
The Socceroos playmaker echoed his team's performance in the first half, starting well - he had one of the first genuine shots - but becoming progressively less influential as Wednesday's well-organised defence did its job.
In general, Huddersfield were too direct in the first half, with Mooy sometimes bypassed in midfield, while Wednesday looked dangerous on the break in the closing stages.
Wagner's side began to assert themselves more after the interval and Mooy was integral to their improvement, as he got busier in more dangerous areas.
Nahki Wells almost chipped Wednesday goalkeeper Keiran Westwood 11 minutes into the half, while Mooy split the visitors' defence in the 70th minute with a brilliant lofted pass but Tommy Smith failed to control the ball in the box.
Wednesday, who lost the play-off final to Hull City last year, would have been happier with the draw and almost stole victory with six minutes left as Barry Bannan shot just wide from 25 yards.
There were still two more chances for Mooy to influence the match though.
In the 88th minute, Mooy's direct free-kick from 30 yards was headed out for a corner, while a minute later, Van La Parra's shot was blocked at close range after the Australia international whipped a dangerous corner into the box.