Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

32 on the bounce!
Roar smash Reds 7-1!
Besart Berisha's five-minute hat-trick!
Or All the above
By Andrew Demack

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 4
Friday, 7:00pm, 28 October, 2011
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 7
(Henrique 21, 36', Besart Berisha 23, 26, 29, 69, Issey Nakajima-Farran 80')
Adelaide United FC 1
(Dario Vidosic 5')

(linked from FFA web site)

Back Of The Net apologises for the slightly late arrival of this article on the site. Halfway through the match report, a quick glance around the house revealed that we were just about to run out of superlatives. Had to get down to the shops and buy some more.

Brisbane Roar took their unbeaten run to 32 games and their football to dizzying new heights at Suncorp Stadium last night, absolutely destroying Adelaide United 7-1.

Former Roar player Dario Vidosic put Adelaide into the lead in the 5th minute of the game with a stunning strike from outside the box, buried low into the corner of Theoklitos's goal.

But that was the first and last time that Adelaide exerted any control over the outcome of the game. Pundits and commentators have been wondering how the Roar would react when placed under pressure. Well, on the evidence of last night's game, scoring early against the Roar is a bad move. It only gets them going.

This writer gave the press box a miss last night so as to enjoy the atmosphere in the crowd with friends. Fortunately we chose the southern end, which the Roar was attacking in the first half.

After going a goal down, Brisbane continued to play as they always do, stroking the ball around, looking for rhythm, looking for openings. Adelaide tried early in the game to press Brisbane high up the pitch, and in fact that was the way they won the possession which enabled Vidosic's goal.

But pressing high up the pitch inevitably opens up the game and creates space elsewhere.

And Brisbane Roar loves a wide-open game. Give Mitch Nichols in particular room to move, and you are going to concede goals.

In an astonishing 15-minute spell, Brisbane went from a goal down to 5-1 up. I have never seen such a display of complete attacking team football.

And every goal came from pass-and-move. There are complex skills on display, especially from Thomas Broich, but almost everything Brisbane does is beating the opposition by passing the ball.

The equaliser came from a move which swept from side to side, eventually to Henrique who played it into Nichols. From a position similar to where he struck the winner against Central Coast three weeks ago, Nichols was about to pull the trigger when he was crunched by a clumsy Jon McKain tackle.

Henrique dispatched the resultant penalty, using the "casual stroll" run-up.

Two minutes later the go-ahead goal was perfect Brisbane. Broich played the money pass, which set Stefanutto free down the left. Besart Berisha motored to the near post, perfectly timed to turn in Stefanutto's low, driven cross.

Three minutes later, Mitch Nichols spotted Berisha motoring into space and slid the pass into the box for him to run onto. Berisha ahead of McKain and Galekovic again, to make the score 3-1.

And another two minutes, Murdocca down the left played the ball into the box, for Broich down on the byline. Somehow Broich managed to make an extremely difficult pass look so easy, and yet again Berisha's positioning on the box was uncannily good. 4-1.

That was three attacking forays, and three goals. Berisha's work ethic is exemplary, his ability to read where the midfielders are going to play the pass is exceptionally good, and his composure in front of goal is equally exceptional.

After the game Berisha heaped the praise on his team mates, saying that he had to score the goals because of the work the team does for him. One can only imagine that Berisha is the envy of every striker in the A-League, and if social networking works the same way in Europe as here, probably of all the strikers in Albania and the German second division as well.

The supply Berisha gets from Broich, Nichols and Murdocca is first class. As a massive long-term fan of Matt McKay, this writer was wondering how Brisbane would cope this season without their best midfielder. But credit to Postecoglu and all the players, the transition has been seamless. Brisbane haven't missed a beat, and Mitch Nichols in particular has been excellent.

There was another goal before half time, when Cassio brought down Henrique, who was surging ahead of him into the box, ball at feet. The little Brazilian calmly slotted his second penalty, this time using the stutter-step run-up (which I'm not a fan of).

5-1 was the half-time score. All I can say is that Rini Coolen had his work cut out for him in the dressing room at half time.

Postecoglu brought on Mohammed Adnan for the second half, replacing Matt Jurman. The coach is very well aware that Jurman, Nichols and probably Kofi Danning will be called up for Olyroos duty soon, so he wants to make sure Adnan is ready to play.

The Bahrainian comes with a reputation for scoring goals from set-pieces. We can already see why ... he is very very tall and he runs like he has springs in his boots. And the vertical leap? Prodigious!

The second half simply could not live up to the first. Adelaide went to a more defensive structure, and tried to play on the break. Brisbane just played the same possession football, perhaps at a slightly slower tempo.

The two second half goals were both well-constructed team goals. For Berisha's fourth, Broich was drifting across the ground and found Paartalu in space. Paartalu committed the defence and then passed it in to Berisha, who held off McKain and got the shot past Galekovic, again.

Berisha got an early mark for his good work, leaving Kofi Danning about 20 minutes to make his name better known. Issey Nakajima-Farran had also earlier replaced Henrique.

It was Issey who got the last. Danning's pacey run down to the corner flag was followed by a ball into Nichols, somehow all alone and inside the box. Nichols picked out Nakajima-Farran perfectly for the tap-in, 7-1.

In the corresponding fixture last season, Brisbane tore Adelaide apart 4-0. This performance was better.

I don't have any answers for A-League coaches who come to Back of the Net for advice on how to beat Brisbane. Every game I have seen so far confirms my opinions

* that this Brisbane Roar side are the stand-outs of the competition,
* that Thomas Broich is the best player in the league,
* that Mitch Nichols is a 15-goal midfielder, and my growing belief
* that Besart Berisha will be the A-League's Golden Boot.

It's fun watching the Brisbane Roar. Tell a friend. There's still plenty of room for you and him and her and more!

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 4
Friday 7:00pm, 28 October, 2011
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 7
(Henrique 21, 36', Besart Berisha 23, 26, 29, 69, Issey Nakajima-Farran 80')
Adelaide United FC 1
(Dario Vidosic 5')

    Crowd: 11,762


    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Matt JURMAN (16. Mohamed ADNAN 45), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA (9. Kofi DANNING 69), 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 10. HENRIQUE (11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN 57), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 22. Thomas BROICH
    Substitutes not used: Matthew ACTON (rgk)

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Kofi DANNING 72'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Adelaide United FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 4. Jon McKAIN (c), 5. Daniel MULLEN, 6. CASSIO, 7. Zenon CARAVELLA, 8. Evgeniy LEVCHENKO (21. Francisco USUCAR +46), 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Dario VIDOSIC, 16. Spase DILEVSKI, 22. Milan SUSAK (2. Osama MALIK +68), 23. Andy SLORY (17. Iain RAMSAY +42)
    Substitutes not used: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (rgk)

    Coach: Rini Coolen

    Yellow Cards: Jon McKAIN 20, CASSIO 36, Milan SUSAK 47
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Srebre Delovski 8/10
    Assistant referees: Ashley Beecham, David Walsh; 4th official: Adam Kersey

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. Thomas Broich (BR), the ringmaster
    2. Besart Berisha (BR), the assassin
    1. Mitch Nichols (BR), the young master

    Pitch rating: 9/10

    Game rating: 10/10 - ... would have been hard for Adelaide fans, but Roar fans can't ask for much more than this!

    Match Report and ratings: By Andrew 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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