Hyundai A-League Season 6

Brisbane takes the flag in both leagues
By Andrew Demack

A-League - 2010/2011 Season - Round 27
Saturday 12 February, 2011
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane



Brisbane Roar FC 4
(Kosta Barbarouses 3’, Erik Paartalu 42’, Henrique 66’, Thomas Broich 85’)
defeated
Gold Coast United FC 0



(Linked from FFA site)

This Brisbane Roar team plays the beautiful game in a way that you don't need to be a football expert to appreciate. Dominant in defence, creative in the midfield, and with some real spark up front.

Oh, and the mens team are pretty good too. Earlier in the day there was a special moment in the presentations after the W-League grand final, when team veteran and long-time Matildas representative Jo Burgess held up the cup. Burgess played for Sydney in the first W-League season (which Brisbane won, beating Sydney in the semifinal and Canberra in the final) before returning to Brisbane last season and being this writer's player of the match in a beaten team against Sydney FC in last year's grand final. This season Burgess overcame a serious knee injury to once again be one of the best players in the competition.

Our Brisbane Roar W-League contacts also gave praise to Lana Harch, who starred in the first half of the grand final, setting up the first goal, before going off the ground injured and spending the second half and the rest of the afternoon at hospital getting scans on a suspected broken ankle.

And the Brisbane Roar A-League team capped off a brilliant home-and-away season with a 4-0 thumping of local rivals Gold Coast United.

The result was never in doubt from the third minute. Matt McKay slid a pass to Kosta Barbarouses, who seemed under a mountain of pressure from three Coast defenders. Somehow he evaded all three, looked up and bent a wonderful shot past Moss into the top right corner of the goal.

It was Barbarouses' first A-League goal for 2011, and it set the team on the path to a dominant display and ultimately a great win.

Gold Coast were without a sizable stack of their first choice players. Culina, Van Den Brink, Djite and Porter were all unavailable through injury. Tahj Minniecon got a rare start for the Gold Coast, which prompted quite a few Roar supporters to enquire of Miron Bleiberg why the young man's progress had stagnated since he left Brisbane just over two years ago.

For the most part the Gold Coast team were simply out-played by Brisbane. The most glaring example of the mis-match was the attempts of the Coast's central defenders Djulbic and Rees to cope with the movement and skills of Barbarouses.

Michael Thwaite had his hands full trying to cope with the threat of Thomas Broich and Matt McKay down the Roar's left side. It was the 42nd minute when Broich got free from a Stefanutto pass, and cut back his left-foot cross from the byline at an extreme angle.

The ball came nearly waist-high to Erik Paartalu at the edge of the box. He conjured up a left-foot volley that was Zidanesque, and once again Moss was picking the ball out of the back of the net. Yes, it really was that good.

Gold Coast started the second half more brightly and Smeltz brought a good save from Theoklitos early in the piece. But the Roar sooned after gained the ascendancy, and just continued to tighten the noose of pressure that they build on opposition defences.

Like a good passing team, this Roar side is patient in the build-up. If the opportunity doesn't come easily, if the penetrating pass is not on, they keep possession, and work it around through short passes to the other side of the field.

It was this method that led to the third goal in the 65th minute. After an exploration down the left, the ball was switched out to Franjic on the right flank. His pass inside was, I think, initially aimed at McKay, who was coming to meet it. However it was slightly misdirected, and instead beat both McKay and the defender covering him, going straight to an unmarked Henrique inside the box.

The little Brazilian, getting a rare start in the absence of both Solorzano and Meyer, calmly scored his second goal in successive games with a drive into the roof of the net.

By then it was party time for the crowd, and some fans in The Den responded by lighting an orange flare. There's no doubt that The Den contribute mightily to creating any sort of atmosphere at Suncorp, but one wonders how they manage to a flare into the ground in the first place.

(By the way, the Den's other magic moment this week came at the end of the 2-1 win over NQ Fury at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast. When the crowd figure of 1003 was announced, the Den responded with “Is this all you get at home?”, which would have been funnier if there were any Fury supporters there at all.)

The Roar produced a final party piece of their own, as Barbarouses and McKay turned the Coast defence inside out again, and Thomas Broich strolled into the box past bewildered defenders to pass the ball into the net from McKay's centring ball, to take the score to 4-0.

It only remained for Glen Moss to pull off a spectacular save from Matt Smith's header to deny the locals a five goal margin, with just seconds left on the clock.

After the game, Matt McKay received the Premier's Plate from the Queensland Minister for Sport, and the team and Postecoglu and support staff did a well-deserved lap of honour.

Earlier in the day there was a special moment in the presentations after the W-League grand final, when team veteran and long-time Matildas representative Jo Burgess held up the cup. Burgess played for Sydney in the first W-League season (which Brisbane won) before returning to Brisbane last season and being player of the match in a beaten team against Sydney FC in last year's grand final. This season Burgess overcame a serious knee injury to once again be one of the best players in the competition.

Brisbane Roar will welcome back Jean Carlo Solorzano and Massimo Murdocca from injury for the away semifinal against the main danger team in the competition, Central Coast Mariners, next Saturday night.

The finals series, based on the season so far, should be a cracker. If the Mariners and Roar play their best football, the A-League will again scale new heights, and we hope continue to win new fans to the beautiful game.



Brisbane Roar FC 4
(Kosta Barbarouses 3’, Erik Paartalu 42’, Henrique 66’, Thomas Broich 85’)
defeated
Gold Coast United FC 0

    Crowd: 20,831

    MATCH STATS:

    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk) (20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk) 80’), 2. Matt SMITH, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. HENRIQUE (19. Chris BUSH 67’), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS (14. Rocky VISCONTE 59’), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
    Substitutes not used: 12. Matt MUNDY

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Gold Coast United FC :
    Player listing:
    1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE (c), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 15.Tahj MINNIECON (32. Steven LUSTICA 78’), 16.Kristian REES (23.Steve FITZSIMMONS 74’), 22.Adama TRAORE, 33.Peter PERCHTOLD
    Substitutes not used: 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 27.Chris HAROLD

    Coach: Miron Bleiberg

    Yellow Cards: Steve PANTELIDIS 36’, Zenon CARAVELLA 55’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Peter Green (8/10)
    Assistant referees: Ashley Beecham, David Walsh; Fourth official: Jarred Gillett

    Pitch rating: 8/10, some sand being kicked up from time to time, but in amazing condition nonetheless

    Game rating: 9/10 … that rating might reflect some hometown bias.

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Kosta Barbarouses (BR) … untouchable
    2. Erik Paartalu (BR) … capped off a mighty season with a mighty goal
    1. Ivan Franjic (BR) … is there another full back in the league who this good on the ball?

    Match Report by Andrew 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 supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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