Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

An upset? Surely not
By Stephen Webb

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 9
5pm, Sunday 4 December, 2011
at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah

Sydney FC 2
(Dimtri Petratos 1’, Brett Emerton 19’')
Brisbane Roar FC 0

An upset? Surely not.

Brisbane Roar were ripe for the picking.

Ange Postecoglou may insist it never played with Brisbane’s minds but the new record of games undefeated had been set. If they needed something deep down to draw on, that special motivating factor, it was gone.

Waiting to kick off, Besart Berisha and Mitch Nicholls looked confident, if not cocky, and impatient to get on with securing another three points.

But Sydney, despite some unconvincing recent performances, were no easy-beats. They had players of considerable talent who had not yet gelled. What better stage to prove a point?

I came expecting Sydney to win.

I was not expecting Dimitri Petratos to start. And I certainly was not expecting him to score inside the first minute.

Roar had kicked off. A quick free kick by Pascal Bosschaart (fouled by Berisha) was flicked on by Bruno Cazarine for Petratos to take into the box and score past Michael Theoklitos’ right hand.

Roar kicked off again.

Nick Carle and Petratos quickly set about vigorously pressing Brisbane’s defenders, an example followed by the Sydney team for the remainder of the match. Brisbane were given no quarter.

Apart from a few slip-ups. One giving Nicholls a run into the left of Sydney’s penalty area.

Shannon Cole was on fire. But Ivan Franjic got in a good cross from the right, eliciting an “Oh shit!” from someone behind me. Sydney’s lead was safe, though.

With wind at their backs Sydney popped long balls over Brisbane’s back line, giving Theoklitos plenty to think about — at one time getting airborne 25 metres from his line to clear away from Terry McFlynn.

At other times the wind was a hindrance, forcing Emerton and Petratos into vain pursuit of otherwise good through balls.

A new friend sitting in front of me said Sydney looked like a different team. Carle and Petratos kept running their proverbials off. And there was passing — accurate, quick passing — and movement off the ball. Carle started a break through the middle. Cazarine set Brett Emerton free on the left and Emerton delivered a near perfect ball back across goal for Cazarine.

Sydney only won a corner. And then another corner. Taken by Emerton. The ball swung with the wind, heading for goal. Theoklitos hit it against the crossbar only for it to rebound onto his head and into the back of the net.

Sydney were two goals up. Jubilee Oval was pumping.

Brisbane then showed how beautifully they can move the ball around. Nicholls pulled a shot just wide of the left post. Then Sydney shut them out of the game again.

Matthew Jurman made an important tackle to stop the nuisance that was Dimitri Petratos at the end of a fluid move by Sydney.

Issey, getting narky after receiving some close, physical attention, shouldered Cole in the back. “Get a haircut!” a Sydney fan responded, typical of the good spirits of those in the stands around him.

Half an hour into the game and Brisbane were mostly going backwards. Theoklitos had to come well off his line to get a touch to deny Petratos another good scoring opportunity.

Loud applause accompanied Sydney as they left the field at half time. Now the question was whether the team that had previously been chasing goals and finishing strongly could defend a lead.

Sydney continued to scramble well enough to keep Brisbane out.

Berisha had Brisbane’s best chance, forcing his way past Michael Beauchamp and calling a good save from Liam Reddy.

Nicholls and Issey led another foray, linking with Henrique.

Sydney’s riposte came through Emerton and Carle. Jurman again fended off Petratos. Emerton hit a lovely ball from left to right, where Petratos and Coyne were free on goal. Petratos took too long to fire and ended up with too fine an angle to be effective.

Sydney weren’t just sitting back. A third goal seemed a real possibility. But too often Brisbane caught them offside.

Karol Kisel — another who ran his heart out — made a mistake and compounded his error by fouling Henrique on the left edge of Sydney’s penalty area. Luke Brattan curled the kick high over goal.

Petratos hung onto the ball long enough in Brisbane’s penalty area to give Carle a shooting chance. He then sent Juho Makela down the right, where Makela won a corner. Emerton and Carle set up Kisel for a shot over the crossbar.

Brave and desperate defending by Reddy, Beauchamp, Coyne and Bosschaart against James Meyer and Berisha was eventually realised to be unnecessary, the flag having gone up for an offside — “two days ago” according to a bloke behind me.

Makela, keen to make a mark, almost slipped through Brisbane’s defence but was stopped by Theoklitos.

Rhyan Grant had a chance for Sydney and Cole blocked a shot from Franjic.

My friend in front of me said Sydney had made history by ending Roar’s record breaking run. Historians may not care who finally beat Brisbane, though this game will stand out in many supporters’ minds for some seasons to come.

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 9
5pm, Sunday 4 December, 2011
at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah

Sydney FC 2
(Dimtri Petratos 1’, Brett Emerton 19’')
Brisbane Roar FC 0

    Crowd: 11,555


    Sydney FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Liam Reddy (gk), 3. Jamie Coyne, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Karol Kisel, 9.Bruno Cazarine, (18. Juho Makela +68') 10. Nick Carle (23. Rhyan Grant +82'), 11. Dimitri Petratos (2. Sebastian Ryall +89') 12. Shannon Cole, 15. Terry McFlynn (c)

    Substitutes not used: 20. Ivan Necevski [rgk]

    Coach: Vítezslav Lavicka

    Yellow Cards: Emerton ‘20, Cazarine ‘40, Kisel ‘63, Makela ’75
    Red Cards: Nil

    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael Theoklitos (gk), 2. Matthew Smith, 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matthew Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paartalu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, (18. Luke Brattan +63') 10. Henrique (16. Mohamed Adnan +84'), 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran (21. James Meyer +58'), 17. Mitch Nicholls

    Substitutes not used: 30. Matthew Acton (rgk)

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Peter Green tba/10
    Assistant Ref 1: Rod Allen, Assistant Ref 2: Lance Greenshiels; 4th Official: Matthew Cropper

    BOTN Player Points:
    Honours should go to nearly any of the Sydney team for their commitment and tenacity. Nicholls was impressive for Brisbane. But ...
    3. Nicky Carle (SFC)
    2. Dimitri Petratos (SFC)
    1. Shannon Cole (SFC)

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    Match report, photos and ratings: By Stephen Webb

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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