Hyundai A-League - 2012/2013 - Season 8

Roar, Victory provide no clarity
to those peering into the muddy waters of A-League form
By Andrew Demack

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 24
6:45 pm, Saturday 9 March, 2013
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Ivan Franjic 59')

drew with
Melbourne Victory FC 1
(Leigh Broxham 11')

Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory played out a thrilling draw at Suncorp Stadium last night, further muddying the waters of A-League form.

If one sure thing can be said about this season’s very entertaining edition of the A-League, it is that nobody — pundits, coaches, players, even online betting agencies — has any idea about which team will win which game.

Must make it difficult for all those — mad fans and conspiracy theorists alike — who want to ascribe influence to shady off-shore interests.

But the players on the pitch for this encounter battled an indifferent pitch, media hype about a “grudge match”, and each other to produce a memorable spectacle. A win to either side could not have drawn any complaints except from the most one-eyed of fans.

Brisbane Roar’s season, as I and many other writers have documented, has been one of fine margins in which the defending champions have almost every time come up second-best, despite often showing that they still have the talent and the teamwork to win.

In this match, Victory’s two guns, the old gun Archie Thompson, and the young gun Marco Rojas, were the ones firing the bullets. For the most part Michael Theo and the Roar defence dodged those bullets.

But it was Rojas and Thompson working together who set up Leigh Broxham for the opening goal of the game. Thompson feigned a cross, but held back until he saw Broxham hurtling into the space at the far post. Thompson’s delivery was spot on as Broxham launched himself like a human cannonball over the top of Ivan Franjic, and smashed the header into the top corner past a despairing Theo.

That goal came in the 11th minute of play. It came against the run of play, but that’s barely worth saying in a Roar home game. They always dominate possession. So what?

The side that Roar coach Mike Mulvey has settled on over the last three weeks includes both Ivan Franjic and Jack Hingert in the starting line-up. Franjic and Hingert are the two right full backs in the squad, and both have played well all season, despite the indifferent form of some of those around them.

So Mulvey has pushed Franjic forward into the right side of midfield. It seems to be working well, with much of the successful attack for the Roar coming down the right side of the field all game. Both Franjic and Hingert were tormenting Adama Traore, the Victory left-back.

But for all the possession, and all the penetration down the right side, and all the Broich cut-ins from the left, Roar did not get one good sight on goal in the first half.

Victory, playing entirely on the counter attack, had three. Theo was perfectly positioned to save from Mullen’s volley from a Rojas freekick, and also when Archie Thompson was played in by Rojas, but the narrow angle meant the shot was straight at him (Theo).

"Narrow angle be damned," said Ivan Franjic to himself (in my imagination at least) in the 67th minute as he steamed in on goal, from a classic Luke Brattan outside-of-the foot but inside-of-the-fullback pass. Nathan Coe was a sitting duck, and Franjic drove the ball low and hard under him for the equalising goal.

That there was no more scoring owed much to the canny positioning of the Victory defence. Their offside trap was sprung just that once by Brattan. On seven other occasions Roar attackers were pulled up by the assistant referee’s flag ... none of those decisions are in dispute, but it showed what a fine line Leijer and co were treading in their defence of a point.

It was well past the 90th minute when Coe had the last word in keeping Melbourne in the game, tipping over a Ben Halloran thunderbolt at full stretch. It was the fitting end to a pulsating match.

On this showing, both sides are capable of going a long way in this League, and in the post-season tournament which will follow. With the Mariners struggling in ACL group stage hell and post-Rogic attacking let-down, and the Wanderers needing gift handballs to beat the bottom team in the league, who knows what the next month of A-league will bring.

But we will all be watching !



2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 24
6:45 pm, Saturday 9 March, 2013
at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 1
(Ivan Franjic 59')
drew with
Melbourne Victory FC 1
(Leigh Broxham 11')

    Crowd: 12,624

    MATCH STATS:

    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael THEO (gk), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA, 9. Stefan NIJLAND (10. HENRIQUE +75'), 13. Jade NORTH, 14. Steven LUSTICA (17. Mitch NICHOLS +60'), 15. James DONACHIE, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT (11. Ben HALLORAN +75'), 22. Thomas BROICH

    Substitutes not used: 20. Matt ACTON (rgk)

    Coach: Mike Mulvey

    Yellow Cards: Luke BRATTAN 63', Ben HALLORAN 90'+3
    Red Cards: Nil

    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    39. Nathan COE (gk), 3. Adama TRAORE (21. Spase DILEVSKI +67'), 5. Mark MILLIGAN, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Marco ROJAS, 14. Billy CELESKI, 23. Adrian LEIJER (c), 31. Scott GALLAWAY, 32. Connor PAIN (22. Jesse MAKAROUNAS +90'), 33. Daniel MULLEN
    Substitutes not used: 1. Tando VELAPHI (rgk), 26. Andrew NABBOUT

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Mark MILLIGAN 60', Adrian LEIJER 84', Leigh BROXHAM 90+1'
    Red Cards: Nil


    Referee: Peter Green 8/10

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. Ivan Franjic (BR)
    2. Archie Thompson (MV)
    1. Luke Brattan (BR)

    Pitch rating: 3/10 ... now there are two other teams chopping it up as well

    Game rating: 8/10

    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 are as attributed.

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