Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

Roar win blockbuster at Suncorp
By Adrian Demack

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 20
6:45pm, Saturday 18 February, 2012
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 3
(Besart Berisha 1’, 32’, Henrique 38' pen)
Melbourne Victory FC 2
(Harry Kewell 8, 50')

(linked from FFA web site)

Brisbane edged out Melbourne Victory in the ‘Clash of the Stars,’ with arguably the two best players in the league playing leading roles in a 3-2 blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar-Victory games are usually good. I know it’s one of the first fixtures I look for. This one was no exception.

The game had been promoted as Kewell v Broich, but they forgot to mention the awesome Albanian, Besart Berisha, who during the week extended his stay in the Sunshine state for another two year. 43 seconds in, he made sure no-one forgot about him.

Virtually off the kick off, Broich strode down the centre of the park, with Berisha making a rather straight run. The ball was cut just before the box, with three Victory defenders crowding the Roar striker. As he tried to slot it behind them, he got a stroke of luck, when in the mess of legs and deflections, it came out the other side, leaving him one on one with Covic.

You don’t lead the golden boot by 6 goals and not know how to take them. Berisha rifled the ball into the roof of the net and gave the home side the ascendancy with not even a minute played.

As they say, the best thing about conceding early is that you have more time to get it back, and so the Victory marched on.

Rojas was looking dangerous down the right, making Stefanutto look quite… old, all game.

In the 9th minute, Hernandez won the ball and played it off to Rojas who angled inside. Both Smith and Stefanutto held off him way too long and he was in full stride when he reached the box and slide the ball to the left into the path of a steaming Kewell.

Australia’s favourite son obliged, driving the ball low and unsaveable into the back of the net to restore polarity.

It was an end to end game. As much as you can have an end to end game against this Roar side. End to end can mean 50 passes, constantly probing, the ball just nicked away, and then booted upfield by the centre-half, making their lone forward work hard.

Brisbane’s strength is its weakness. As Ange has said, the philosophy of the football club is to pass the ball, want the ball in dangerous positions, keep it moving. When it comes off it reaches heights rarely seen in Australian football. When it doesn’t and a players radar is off, the opposition can capitalise in brutal fashion.

Hernandez almost crafted such an opportunity mid way through the half, when he managed to grab a wayward pass, found himself in space, and had a shot from 30 out. Theo only managed to palm the ball forward, into the path of Solorzano, crumbing like a good striker. But the great strikers stay onside, so it was ruled out.

Just past the half hour mark, the Roar had a quick counter with Stefanutto picking out Broich on the half way line. The Roar star looked up and quickly sent the ball forward, unleashing Henrique down the right. Henrique hit it first time for a gorgeous ball to hit Berisha just before the six yard box.

Three perfect passes and a finish from the striker shows just how effective this Roar side can be if given even a sniff. On a slight tangent, the combination of Brisbane’s nominated three visa players for the Champions League justifies the leaving out of Issey Nakajima-Farran who, although I’m sure we haven’t seen the best from, is still struggling to find his feet.

Brisbane continued to boss the later stages of the half and the constant pressure was too much for the Melbourne defense. Paartalu had found himself in an advanced position after a corner and was taking the ball to the byline inside the box. Luzardo made a very poorly timed lunge, made contact after the ball had gone and the referee didn’t hesitate to point to the spot.

Luzardo’s challenge was almost identical to the one that got him booked a little further up the pitch against Broich. Not asking for his sending off, merely commenting on the obvious poor technique, he sweeps his leg in far too slowly, and players can easily nip the ball ahead, virtually guaranteeing the foul everytime. Muscy might want to fix that.

This writer was expecting to see Berisha walk to the spot to seal his hattrick, but he seemed to be sacked from penalty duties after his rather shocking effort last time, and Henrique, the final penalty taker of the Grand Final, stepped up. It was a cheeky stutter run penalty, which, don’t know about you, but always wreak havoc with my stomach when I see them.

Fortunately for the Brazillian he executed it well, with Covic diving early and Henrique put it in the opposite corner. It’s still over complicating what should be a simple thing for the attacking player. Pick a corner and go. But, you can’t argue with results.

After the break, with Archie Thompson coming on for Jean Carlos Solorzano, the usual routine seemed to be back, with the Roar knocking the ball around and Melbourne looking to pinch it and counter quickly.

A sloppy ball from Broich to left back was intercepted by Harry Kewell, who took a touch, put the ball around the in coming Adnan, regained and finished beautifully across Theoklitos in a superb solo effort. Not sure if there are too many HK doubters left anymore, but Brisbane games certainly seem to be his time to show off, now with three very good goals against the defending champs.

Directly after the goal, Broich came off. He had been on the deck for a while holding his shoulder after the Luzardo challenge in the first half, one can only hope it was precautionary and a change initated while Ange’s men still had a two goal cushion.

That effectively ended the ‘Clash of the Stars’ and, for the most part, the game. Brisbane almost instantly lacked forward drive, be it lack of motivation or lack of the man, they just seemed quite content to let the game wash over them. Every time possession was gained however, the bench was waving them forward, clearly not happy with this approach.

A change in the second half was that in attack, one of the full backs was always back. Usually Brisbane are happy to commit 8 forward and let Smith, Adnan and Theoklitos deal with any breaks. But this Victory team had got in behind a few too many times and it was dangerous having 3v2 with such lethal finishers as Rojas, Kewell and Thompson.

You couldn’t really say the Melbourne failed to break Brisbane down, it wasn’t a two lines of five defense we’ve seen against the Roar, but neither team made any real notable plays at goal after that.

In a bit of a fizzle ending, the Roar claimed all three points, making it three in three against some tough opposition, giving them great form into the post-season. Melbourne can’t be too disheartened by their efforts, mostly keeping up with a team that his hitting its straps again, but they are running out of time to find the points to reach the top six.

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 20
6:45pm, Saturday 18 February, 2012
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 3
(Besart Berisha 1’, 32’, Henrique 38' pen)
Melbourne Victory FC 2
(Harry Kewell 8, 50')

    Crowd: 18,523


    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 10. HENRIQUE (11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN +75’), 16. Mohamed ADNAN, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 22. Thomas BROICH (24. Nick FITZGERALD +50’)

    Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (rgk), 12. Matt MUNDY

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    21. Ante COVIC (gk), 3. FABIO, 4. Petar FRANJIC, 5.Mark MILLIGAN, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (10. Archie THOMPSON +46’), 11. Marco ROJAS, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17. Jimmy JEGGO, 22. Harry KEWELL (18. Danny ALLSOPP +75’), 23. Adrian LEIJER (c), 24. Ubay LUZARDO

    Substitutes not used: 1. Tando VELAPHI (rgk), 6. Leigh BROXHAM

    Coach: Mehmet Durakovic

    Yellow Cards: Adrian LEIJER 10’, Ante COVIC 37’, Mark MILLIGAN 69’, Petar FRANJIC 71’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Jarred Gillett 8/10
    Assistant referees: Dennis Silk, David Walsh; Fourth official: Matt Gillett

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Besart Berisha (BR)
    2. Harry Kewell (MV)
    1. Thomas Broich (BR)

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    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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