Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

Roar go from where they left off
By Adrian Demack

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 1
8:45pm, 8 October, 2011
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Mitch Nichols 72’)
Central Coast Mariners FC 0

(linked from FFA web site)

Brisbane Roar have claimed the grand final replay, in a convincing performance from both sides

Young Socceroo Mitch Nichols clinched the 1-0 win in the 70th minute when the patient build up forced an error from the otherwise solid Mariners defence.

With the over-lapping Ivan Franjic providing the cross to the top of the box, stand in Central Coast captain Zwaanswijk was finally caught out of position, his cut out lunge missing and letting the ball trail to Nichols, with acres of space in the box to bury it in the bottom far post corner.

But Nichols could have had many more if it wasn’t for a huge performance by the Mariners back line and last years goalkeeper of the year, Matt Ryan.

The Mariners were resolute as Brisbane took up where they left off last year, slowly building and always moving. The big question mark was after losing the clubs two top goal scorers and captain, could the new recruits and Postecoglou’s system continue the Roar’s streak?

The answer, an emphatic yes. Brisbane started the match with 3 debutants in Issey Nakajima-Farran, a Canadian international creative midfielder, Besart Berisha, an Albanian international striker, and Matthew Jurman, a boy pinched from Sydney.

All three gelled well. Berisha made some nice runs, not quite expected by his teammates, Jurman was reasonably solid in partnering Smith in the centre of defence, and Issey, seen as the replacement for McKay, showed off a lot of skill and penetrating runs, making comparisons with Roar superstar Broich more suitable.

Essentially, the game went as many Roar games will this year. The Mariners pressured the ball when it was at the back, Brisbane slowly built and pushed them further and further back, spreading it from wing to wing, waiting for the right moment, and if they lost the ball, the Mariners would quickly move it forward to catch Brisbane on the counter.

And they did, many times. With the amount both Steffanuto and Franjic get up the pitch, Smith and Jurman were at times exposed by good through balls for Simon and Baird. Theoklitos was required to come out of his area on more than one occasion.

The best counter came just after the break, when Simon was unleashed down the wing, whipping a ball in with only Baird, Smith and Jurman in the area. The ball picked out Baird at the far post perfectly, his header beating Theoklitos, only to be cleared off the line by Smith.

But it was Brisbane’s game that shone, taking 60% of possession, building patiently there were many opportunities forged throughout.

The best of which fell again to Nichols in the 24th minute, when a one two between Issey and Broich, opened space for a penetrating ball and run by Nichols, who took a heavy touch around the keeper, and while off balance took his shot, which clanged back off the post.

Late in the match with Mariners tiring and pushing forward, Sydney FC reject Kofi Danning came on, and instantly became a crowd favourite with his direct runs down the sideline and lack of hesitation to take a shot, going close and twice forcing saves from Ryan.

Both managers will be happy with their performances, with both sets of players enacting their respective game plans.

Central Coast seemed very well drilled in what they had to do to beat the Roar, and despite no result, have shown it can be done and the Roar may be susceptible to the counter.

But the Roar’s continuing efforts to use ‘the system’ is just re-enforcing what Postecoglou has told us all along, he’s building a dynasty, and it doesn’t matter who leaves, if he can pick the players to come back in, ‘the system’ is just as lethal.

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 1
8:45pm, 8 October, 2011
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Mitch Nichols 72’)
Central Coast Mariners FC 0

    Crowd: 13,467


    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Matthew JURMAN, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA (8. Massimo MURDOCCA 66’), 11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN (19. Kofi DANNING 80’), 17. Mitchell NICHOLS, 21. James MEYER, 22. Thomas BROICH
    Substitutes not used: 16. Mohamed ADNAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (rgk)

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Shane Stefanutto 57’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Matthew RYAN (gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Bradley PORTER, 6. Patricius ZWAANSWIJK (c), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (2. Daniel McBREEN +86’), 10. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY (12. Troy HEARFIELD +66’), 17. Michael BAIRD (23. Adam KWASNIK +58’), 19. Matthew SIMON
    Substitutes not used: 20. Justin PASFIELD (rgk)

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: Pedj BOJIC 7’, Michael BAIRD 23’, Rostyn GRIFFITHS 50’, Bradley PORTER 81’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Chris Beath 8/10 (a lot of cards, but all warranted and kept the game in check.)
    Assistant referees: Nathan Macdonald, Ashley Beecham; Fourth official: Alan Milliner

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 2. Matthew Ryan (CCM)
    2. Mitch Nichols (BR)
    2. Issey Nakajima-Farran (BR)

    Pitch rating: 7/10 (pristine suncorp, was a few slips, but there had been a huge thunderstorm that morning, so we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.)

    Game rating: 8/10 (seeing both teams play their games, Mariners being huge and countering, Roar being small and building, just great)

    Match Report and ratings: By Adrian Demack

Nil photos

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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