Kwame Yeboah thunderbolt seals Roar’s return to top

By Andrew Demack:

Friday, 22 November 2013 – Round 7
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 3  (Besart Berisha 5’, Ivan Franjic 19’, Kwame Yeboah 90’+1)


Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1  (Brendan Santalab 28’)

Brisbane Roar went back to the top of the A-League ladder with a 3-1 win over top rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, at Suncorp Stadium last night.

Every home crowd loves a young striker who can bang in spectacular goals, and Brisbane Roar supporters are all buzzing about Kwame Yeboah. The kid is half Ghanian, and half English, and 100% Aussie when you hear him speak. And he doesn’t score tap-ins.

With the game almost already won in the 90th minute, Yeboah chased down a speculative pass from Matt McKay, cut inside Nikolai Topor-Stanley, and unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner of Covic’s net.

It was a moment to remember. It will be one that Roar fans reminisce about, alongside Reinaldo’s astonishing solo effort against Sydney, Hyuk-Su Seo’s long-range rocket in Season 1, and a couple of left footers from Tommy Oar and Michael Zullo.

And the thing about Yeboah is that is the second time he’s done it. Two weeks ago his late screamer against the Mariners in Gosford sent the Roar to the top of the table.

But to give the full story, Yeboah’s wonder strike was really on the icing on the cake for the Brisbane Roar.

The two best teams in the competition had played each other to a standstill in the second half, after a blistering start from Brisbane took the game away from the Wanderers.

Besart Berisha, back from a month off due to injury, was as sharp as ever, and created havoc in the Western Sydney defence early in the match. The Albanian is so hard to knock off the ball, and after one run and shot which flashed just wide, his second solo run ended up with the home side taking the lead in the 5th minute of the game.

Broich chested the ball down to Berisha, who set off goalwards, riding challenges, nutmegging Topor-Stanley, and eventually shooting. His first shot was blocked, but the ball came back to him at an awkward height and he managed to poke a volley past the desperate efforts of Ante Covic and into the net.

Brisbane’s second goal (19th minute) came from midfield star Ivan Franjic, in his 100th game for the club. It was a team move which broke down, but the chance to shoot came to Franjic. McKay had wriggled free of two defenders, and surged towards the box. He laid it off to Berisha, who feinted to shoot and then passed to Henrique. The defence closed him down, and he could only poke it back to Franjic, just outside the area.

Ivan’s first touch popped the ball up, and his second touch was a searing volley into the corner of the net.

So, two goals up against the famously inpenetrable Wanderers defence, Brisbane tried to be patient and pass it around.

However, the desperation of being two goals behind forced the Wanderers to press hard, and the margins are tight between these two teams. Brisbane can’t boss possession against a surging Wanderers they way they can against the lesser lights of the competition.

The Wanderers’ goal, when it came, was from a Brisbane mistake. Jade North’s pass out of defence was anticipated by Mark Bridge, and the intercept gave Wanderers a two-on-one situation. Bridge drew North and set Santalab free into the space. Santalab calmly chipped the ball over the advancing Michael Theo, to bring the score back to 2-1.

After the game, Tony Popovic claimed that his side had ‘dominated’ the last 70 minutes of the game. Not from this observer’s point of view. It was a very even battle, with possession split 50-50. Wanderers had more shots, but both teams had the same number of shots on target (3). There’s no domination in wild shooting.

The difference is not just that all three of Brisbane’s shots on target went into the goals.

The Wanderers were short of creativity, once Shinji Ono went off, just before half-time.

Brisbane have several creative outlets … Broich, Mckay, Brattan, Franjic are all capable of the killer pass.

Wanderers were totally reliant on the excellent Aaron Mooy. Mooy is one of the A-League’s leading midfielders, but without Ono to work with, Wanderers couldn’t unlock Brisbane’s defence.

And the times that Mooy was able to pull the strings, Brendan Santalab was unable to convert the chances.

Still, the contest was intense right until just before the final whistle, when Yeboah’s audacious shot and even more audacious back-flip-gone-slightly-wrong celebration finally sealed the result.


Match details:

Referee: Strebre Delovski
Crowd: 19,066

Brisbane Roar FC: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA (29.Kwame YEBOAH 63’), 10. HENRIQUE (23.Dimitri PETRATOS 70’), 13. Jade NORTH, 17. Matt McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT (15.James DONACHIE 84’), 22. Thomas BROICH, 26. Corey BROWN

Substitutes not used: 14.Diogo FERREIRA, 20.Matthew ACTON (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Shannon COLE (12.Tahj MINNIECON 69’), 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Jerome POLENZ, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.Aaron MOOY, 11.Brendon SANTALAB (22. Dean HEFFERNAN 83’), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 21.Shinji ONO (7.Labinot HALITI 42’)

Substitutes not used: 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 20.Jerrad TYSON (gk)

Yellow cards: Adam D’APUZZO 51’

Red cards: Nil
Game: 8/10
Pitch: 8/10

Best players:
3 – Besart Berisha (BR)
2 – Aaron Mooy (WSW)
1 – Thomas Broich (BR)