Hyundai A-League - 2010/2011 - Season 6

Brisbane through to Grand Final
By Adrian Demack

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - 1v2 Major Semi Final (2nd leg)
7:00pm, 27 February, 20101
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 2
(Thomas Broich 63', Henrique 90'+1)
drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 2
(Matt Smith (og) 39', Oliver Bozanic 40')

(Brisbane Roar qualified to host the Grand Final 4-2 on aggregate)

(Photo linked from FFA site)

Brisbane have clawed their way back to draw 2-2 and maintain their unbeaten streak after the Central Coast squared up the tie before half time in front of 25,168 at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar will now host the Hyundai A-League Season 6 grand final, winning the tie 4-2 on aggregate, with the Mariners having to go through the hard way to still be Champions.

The Central Coast made it an entertaining game, getting the two goals needed to cancel out Brisbane’s at Bluetongue last week after only 40 minutes, with two quick goals it would have to be said against the run of play.

Brisbane started the lively of the two, taking the game to Central Coast. The typical patient passing and interplay with Broich, McKay and Barbarouse was wreaking its usual havoc, climaxing in Broich threading a through ball for Kosta in the 17th minute, only for the Central Coast ‘keeper Ryan to save the diminutive number seven’s poor shot.

The Roar were also causing problems from set pieces, when two corners in succession saw Matt Smith climbing above the pack, the first in front of goal didn’t have enough on it and went wide, the second at the far post nodding it back across where Barbarouses’ head on was cleared on the line by McBreen.

But the Central Coast were patiently waiting, always happy to spring on the counter and their midfield looking strong. With both sides possessing such brilliant attacking midfields there was always hope for something special.

The first of which came in the 39th minute when Bozanic poked a cross in from the left. McBreen met it at the near post and hammered it towards goal, Theoklitos managed to parry it away but only as far as Matt Smith who then deflected the ball into the net.

The second was even more of a surprise to the home fans. Perez innocuously sild a pass to Bozanic, who 25 yards out, shifted the ball onto his left and curled it past the Roar ‘keeper and inside the post for a glorious goal to tie the fixture up on aggregate.

The stadium fell very quiet, everyone doing the mental arithmetic and trying to understand the away goals rule, but basically, it wasn’t looking good for the home team heading into the sheds.

Not that you could really tell on the park. The Roar continued to play their game, it must be said that they have a game plan and have believed in it all season, and as it has given them 26 games undefeated, there is a good case for sticking to it.

The breakthrough came in the 67th minute from Broich. With the substitution of Nichols off for Henrique, Broich was required to drop back into the midfield, which he used to his advantage to duck around the right wing behind Franjic and past the defender.

The German import continued to move along the goal line into the box. Broich is far more reknowned for his assists than his finishing, and both the Roar and the Mariners were queueing for the cut back across, holding off on Broich. He had almost reached the six yard box when he checkily went for the near post off the outside of his boot. It took some help from the Ryan’s leg and went in the back of the net.

So the current scoreline of 2-1 puts Brisbane through to the grand final. The scoreline of 3-1 puts the Mariners through on away goals rule. The rational conservative approach would be to calm the tempo and control the football. But this is the Roar. On a 26 game unbeaten streak. With 25,000 fans behind them.

And oh how close it came to going oh so wrong for Brisbane. The end to end game favoured the Mariners style, with Perez and the like able to put in great balls for McBreen and Kwaznik to contest. At least twice there were chances were nobody had picked up the man, they had made the run into the box a split second too late and the ball would go through absolutely every body and leave Theoklitos fuming at his back four.

But, as it has done all season, their game plan paid off. In the 90th minute after breaking quickly the ball was unleashed to Murdocca on the right in space. He took the ball to the corner of the box and squared it for Henrique, who had taken the two steps back to put him in space. Henrique hit the ball first time and smacked it past every body into the roof of the goal, a finish he seems to have perfected.

It was enough to see the Roar through, rescue the streak, and give the people of Brisbane a very entertaining game of football. Mariner’s were well on top for periods, and Brisbane do look a lot more frail at the back since DeVere has left the ranks. It would be a brave man to bet against this match being replayed in two weeks time to decide the A-League Champions of 2010/11.

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - 1v2 Major Semi Final (2nd leg)
7:00pm, 27 February, 20101
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 2
(Thomas Broich 63', Henrique 90'+1)

drew with
Central Coast Mariners FC 2
(Daniel McBreen 39', Oliver Bozanic 40')

(Brisbane Roar qualified to host the Grand Final)

    Crowd: 25,168


    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (8. Massimo MURDOCCA 74’), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS (10. HENRIQUE 57’), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
    Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (rgk), 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (24. Bernie IBINI-ISEI 81’), 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 23. Adam KWASNIK
    Substitutes not used: 30. Paul Henderson (rgk), 7. John HUTCHINSON, 17. Chris DOIG, 22. Mustafa AMINI

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: Michael McGLINCHEY 28’, Oliver BOZANIC 40’, Pedj BOJIC 82’, 90'+3
    Red Cards: Pedj BOJIC 90'+3

    Referee: Peter Green 7/10 (there were some handball shouts early, but none of them should have been given and Green kept his metal against 25,000 who thought otherwise)
    Assistant referees: Denis Silk, Luke Brennan; Fourth official: Jarred Gillett

    BOTN Player Points:
    Such an even contest the points have to go to the best midfielders and the goal keeper at each end:

    2. Thomas Broich (BR)
    2. Oliver Bozanic (CCM)
    1. Matt Ryan (CCM)
    1. Michael Theoklitos (BR)

    Pitch rating: 9/10 (Back to Suncorp perfection)

    Game rating: 10/10 (both sides playing amazing attacking football, the GF has a lot to live up to)

    Match Report and ratings: By Adrian Demack


Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as implicitly supplied by FFA and used by assumed permission.

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