Hyundai A-League Season 6

Bewitching Brisbane Wallop Wellington To End Record
By Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

A-League - 2010/2011 Season - 'Week' 12
7:30pm, Wednesday 3 November, 2010
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Tim Brown 37')
lost to
Brisbane Roar FC 4
(Kosta Barbarouses 4', Thomas Broich 45', Massimo Murdocca 76', Mitch Nichols 90'+2)

(Linked from FFA site)

Wellington Phoenix’s record twenty-four match unbeaten streak at Westpac Stadium in the Hyundai A-League was brought to a halt in resounding fashion by Brisbane Roar on November 3, as the visitors handed out a 4-1 mauling to their hosts.

Ange Postecoglou’s side was good value for their emphatic triumph, but it wasn’t so much the margin of victory but the way they went about achieving it which impressed most. One- and two-touch passing, intelligent movement on and off the ball … the way football should be played - a pleasure to watch. And they out-thought Wellington too.

For long periods, the home team’s lack of initiative was reflected by the silence of the fans. The paltry crowd found little to enthuse over in Wellington’s display, the debut of All White midfield general Simon Elliott notwithstanding. It’s a wonder the handful of Brisbane fans present didn’t start up a round of “You only sing when you’re winning”!!

They were certainly in good voice in the fourth minute, when a Wellington old boy came back to haunt his old club in clinical fashion. A marvellous move began with Reinaldo on the left flank, and flowed through Milan Susak, Matt McKay and Massimo Murdocca - Brisbane’s “M&Ms” were outstanding throughout - before Ivan Franjic steamed up on the overlap.

The fullback swept past an opponent before delivering a low cross into the stride of the unmarked Costa Barbarouses, who, from eight yards, steered the ball into the bottom far corner of the net before celebrating in generally subdued fashion.

The goal stung Wellington, who twice came close to levelling matters in the next four minutes via Chris Greenacre and Leo Bertos - Paul Ifill and Manny Muscat respectively set up their team-mates’ chances, both of which flew past Michael Theoklitos’ right-hand post.

Brisbane rode out this storm, then dominated proceedings for the next fifteen minutes against opponents whose ponderous, laboured efforts often resulted in the man receiving the ball facing up to three different challengers for the ball as he sought to bring it under control.

The visitors then got a wee bit too smug regarding their superiority in a fifteen minute spell around the half-hour mark, and paid the penalty for their penance. Barbarouses thumped a shot into the side-netting after fine work down the left by Thomas Broich, after which Wellington came back into the match.

It was a defensive blunder which triggered their revival, Matt Smith’s hesitance in dealing with a bouncing ball and the approaching figure of Theoklitos being swooped on by the home team’s best player, Ifill. His opportunist instincts deserved to be rewarded, but from a tight angle, his first-time shot crept agonisingly past the far post in the 26th minute.

Theoklitos gave Smith a right earful for his contribution to the situation, and had another go at his defenders nine minutes later after Jade North had released Bertos down the right, and the flank player had been able to pick out Greenacre with a cross. The striker’s flicked header flashed past the far post.

Wellington kept the pressure on following this attack, and were rewarded within two minutes with the equaliser. North and Vince Lia linked on the right, with the midfielder’s cross cleared only as far as Tim Brown.

After controlling the ball, he picked out a twenty yard peach of a volley which sailed beyond the flailing arms of Theoklitos into the bottom left-hand corner of his net - 1-1, and a game on our hands.

For just eight minutes, as it turned out. Brisbane responded to this setback with all the subtlety of a wounded bull. Broich led North a merry dance in the penalty area before setting up Barbarouses for a shot from the edge of the box which Elliott and Lia combined to block.

There was no denying the team chasing the league lead, however, and on the stroke of half-time, they regained their advantage. Barbarouses - he had a fine first half - was the beneficiary of a one-two between McKay and Franjic on the right, and the striker duly whipped over a cross which parted Elliott’s hair before reaching Broich.

Leaving one of the league’s most talented players completely unmarked was an error which deserved punishment, and Broich duly did so, although his volley required a wicked deflection off North before it flew into the net past the stranded figure of Mark Paston.

The second spell began in lively fashion, with chances at both ends of the pitch. Paston was unconvincing in tipping a rasping Barbarouses shot on the run over the crossbar in the 51st minute, while Wellington’s ‘keeper was beaten all ends up two minutes later, only to be saved by the woodwork.

Reinaldo rampaged down the right and into the penalty area before pulling the ball back into the stride of Murdocca. The midfielder deserved better than to see his fifteen-yard shot ricochet back into play off the inside of Paston’s left-hand upright.

Wellington’s response was led by Ifill, who thumped a twenty-yarder at Theoklitos before the home team spurned a glorious chance to equalise for a second time. Bertos barrelled past three down the left before linking with Lia, who opted for a return pass to the flank player rather than look to exploit the space in which Ifill and Brown were racing into to his right …

It was the catalyst for the game to adopt a familiar pattern - Wellington pressing, Brisbane defending solidly, then counter-attacking at pace, only to be foiled by retreating defenders.

Elliott looked to snap the game out of this spell with a 66th minute free-kick which had Brown as its intended target. Theoklitos intervened at the vital moment, but was helpless to thwart a flying Greenacre header five minutes later, as substitute Daniel made an instant impact with a telling cross.

The striker’s effort flew past the post, while a strike from the flamboyantly moustachioed Wellington substitute stung the gloves of Theoklitos seconds later, as Wellington continued to chase the game.

Their hopes were dashed fifteen minutes from time as Brisbane extended their lead. An inch-perfect slide-rule through ball from substitute Jean Carlos Solorzano split the Wellington defence and played Murdocca in, the midfielder calmly picking his spot beyond the advancing figure of Paston to all but clinch the points for the visitors.

Wellington were now staring at an Everest-like task, if they harboured hopes of extending their unbeaten run at home to twenty-five games. They certainly tried, with Ifill substitute Dylan MacAllister going close in the minutes after the goal, but in truth, this match had been beyond them for some time.

Brisbane emphasised the fact in the last seven minutes. Only fortune favoured the home team after Broich’s run down the left to the by-line had seen him pull the ball back for Solorzano to finish from six yards, only to see Andrew Durante block his 83rd minute shot, but there was no such barrier in place in stoppage time.

Again, Broich was the architect, and this time he found Mitch Nichols in so much space that the substitute had time to make a cup of tea before slotting home from fifteen yards to round off a richly deserved Brisbane Roar victory, and bring to an end the Hyundai A-League’s longest unbeaten home run to date in emphatic fashion, 4-1.

A-League - 2010/2011 Season - 'Week' 12
7:30pm, Wednesday 3 November, 2010
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Tim Brown 37')
lost to
Brisbane Roar FC 4
(Kosta Barbarouses 4', Thomas Broich 45', Massimo Murdocca 76', Mitch Nichols 90'+2)



    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT (11. DANIEL 70’), 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE (4. Nick WARD 79’), 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA (23. Dylan MACALLISTER 60’), 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 26. Simon ELLIOTT
    Substitutes not used: 19. Danny VUKOVIC (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: 15. Jade NORTH (24’), 8. Paul IFILL (68’)
    Red Cards: Nil

    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 74’), 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 11. REINALDO (17. Mitch NICHOLS 78’), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK (12. Matt MUNDY 90’+3)
    Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Chris Beath 7/10
    Assistant referees: Joe Fusari, Josh Mannella; Fourth official: Matthew Cheeseman

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 7/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Matt McKay (BR)
    2. Massimo Murdocca (BR)
    1. Thomas Broich (BR)

    Match Report by Jeremy Ruane

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 otherwise attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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