Sydney Top, Brisbane Bottom
By Adrian Demack:
Hyundai A-League Round 3 2014/15 season
Friday, 24 October at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brisbane Roar FC 0
Sydney FC 2 (Marc Janko 28’, Milos Dimitrijevic 54’)
Sydney FC have given the defending champions Brisbane Roar their third successive loss to start the season with a strong 2-0 win at Suncorp Stadium.
The difference between this Sydney FC side under Graham Arnold and the one that ran out in sky blue last year is night and day. This team has confidence, awareness, a willingness to work as a team and put in the effort – and a plan.
There were weeks you would watch Sydney play and think what have they been doing in training all week. Under Arnold the results are there on the pitch and they played out the game plan to perfection.
Brisbane had a monstrous 70 per cent possession in this match, which is large even by their standards. This was because half the time the ball was being played across the back four, which highlighted the weaknesses of the Roar.
Brattan, who has been instrumental for Brisbane playing out and turning defence into attack, was given constant attention from Brosque. The Roars deep lying play maker was taken out which left very little option, with both full backs reluctant to take the ball forward.
This was where the Roar first really missed Ivan Franjic. The Socceroo provided another outlet, whereas Donachie doesn’t have the same drive going forward. Similarly, Lustica, while not playing badly, does not have the same ability to find space and pass as the suspended Matt McKay.
Sydney were ruthless in their discipline, and punished the mistakes of the Roar just as ruthlessly.
The first goal came after just half an hour. The ball had been forced back to Brisbane ‘keeper Jamie Young, who is standing in for the injured Theo. Young’s clearances had been poor all game, his distribution is without a doubt a huge flaw in his game. This low ball to no-one found Sydney FC marquee Janko 40 out, who launched a beautiful shot back over the ‘keeper and into the goal.
A just reward for the hard work they had been putting in, and they received another just after halftime. The game followed a similar pattern of Brisbane holding the ball, but usually in their own half, and Sydney waiting. This time, while trying to play it out, Brattan’s ball hit the referee. The deflection took it into the path of Dimitrijevic, who played a one two with Antonis to create space, and let go an almost lobbed effort for 30 out, which beat Young, who was well off his line.
Brisbane huffed and puffed all game, and they will try to point to injuries and suspension as possible excuses, but frankly, Graham Arnold’s men out-played the defending champions. The Roar now have an extra week off due to the Champions League final, and an extra week at the bottom of the ladder is certainly not something they’ll want.
Crowd: 14, 141
Referee: Peter Green
Brisbane Roar: 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 7. Mensur KURTISHI (12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO), 8. Steven LUSTICA (28. Brandon BORRELLO 63’), 10. HENRIQUE (11. Liam MILLER 78’), 13. Jade NORTH, 15. James DONACHIE, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 21. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS
Substitutes not used: 11. Liam MILLER, 19. Jack HINGERT, 30. Matthew ACTON (gk)
Yellow cards: Steven LUSTICA 52’, Luke BRATTAN 63’
Red cards: Nil
Sydney FC: 2. Sebastian RYALL, Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4. Predrag BOJIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO (12. Hagi GLIGOR 89’), 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 11. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 14. Alex BROSQUE (c), 17. Terry ANTONIS, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21. Marc JANKO (13. Christopher NAUMOFF 78’), 22. Ali ABBAS
Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 16. Alexander GERSBACH, 25. Aaron CALVER
Yellow cards: 18. Bernie IBINI-ISEI 18’, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC 76’
Red cards: Nil
Very tempting to give Graham Arnold 3 points here, however:
3. Alex Brosque (Sydney FC)
2. Marc Janko (Sydney FC)
1. Ali Abbas (Sydney FC)