No mysteries at Suncorp

Hyundai A-League 2014/2015 – Round 5

7:45pm, Saturday 9 November, 2014 – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Brandon Borrello 67’)

defeated by

Melbourne City FC 3 (David Williams 8′, Mate Duganndzic 10′, Marc Marino 83′)

By ANDREW DEMACK:

There are many great mysteries in this world. Who built Stonehenge, and why? Why do some people fill IN forms, and others fill them OUT?

But there’s no great mystery about why Brisbane Roar have started the A-League with four straight losses. It’s because they have defended poorly.

The three-time champions seem to be suffering a major hangover in Season 10 of the A-League. Already 11 points behind the joint league leaders Victory, Sydney and Adelaide, and out of contention in every way, Brisbane stumbled to a third home loss of the season, losing 1-3 to Melbourne City.

This was the same Melbourne City which had won just once in 29 away games outside of Melbourne.

But the visitors seemed unaware of their statistical shortcomings, unafraid of Brisbane Roar’s pedigree and credentials, and unphased by the early departure of mega-marquee David Villa.

City strolled to a 2-0 lead inside 10 minutes of the kick-off, and were never headed. Brisbane had lots of the ball, but only a few chances in the next hour, and were lucky to grab one goal back from a wildly mishit shot from Matty McKay which glanced off Brandon Borrello’s head, and into the City net.

Brisbane, as one would expect of a home team, pushed hard for the equaliser. But in doing so, they were vulnerable to the counter attack, and City punished them with a third goal on the break.

Well that’s the overview of the game, but what is most interesting in this writer’s view is how Melbourne City seized the initiative. They began with a compact formation, but with three major outlets in David Williams, Damien Duff and Mate Dugandzic.

Dugandzic and Williams combined for the first goal, and Williams was ever so sharp to make space for the shot in an area of the field where he should have been closed down. The Roar defence was strangely stand-offish as Williams picked his spot and beat Jamie Young.

The second goal was the product of a superbly timed direct run from Dugandzic, who raced into a yawning gap onto Paartalu’s pass. Both Hingert and Smith could have been held to account for poor positioning. Some onlookers also found fault in Jamie Young’s attempt to save, but Dugandzic’s left foot strike was well-hit and was under Young before the keeper reacted.

Much has been made of whether Brisbane’s attack could fire with Berisha. But the attack, whether firing or not, won’t win games from a 0-2 deficit very often. At the very least, it’s a difficult place to start from.

As ever, the A-League is a very even competition, and for a team to go on a run of wins needs every player to be firing, and a team set-up with no major weaknesses. In Michael Theo’s absence, Jamie Young has been a weakness that other teams have happily exploited. Right back is also a problem area, since the departure of Ivan Franjic. Jack Hingert had a terrible first half, and James Donachie didn’t improve matters much in the second.

Brisbane also started with a small forward line of Henrique, Petratos and Broich. Kurtisi, Borello and Solorzano were on the bench.

Surely next week, one of the three centre forwards will have to start. Petratos made way for Borrello on this occasion, and if Mulvey liked what he saw from the young striker in the second half, at least finding the net, then maybe he will start against Newcastle.

Of the others, Broich is struggling just a little, Mackay looked short of fitness, and even Luke Brattan gave the ball away a few times in the first half. Smith and North were the best centre-back pairing in the league last year. At the moment they are not.

Match details

Brisbane Roar 1 (Brandon BORRELLO 67’) defeated by Melbourne City 3 (David WILLIAMS 8′, Mate DUGANDZIC 10′, Marc MARINO 83′)

Hyundai A-League Round 5 2014/15 season

Saturday, 8 November at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Brisbane Roar FC: 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 8. Steven LUSTICA (7. Mensur KURTISHI 80’), 10. HENRIQUE, 13. Jade NORTH, 17. Matt McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT (15. James DONACHIE 46’), 21. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS (28. Brandon BORRELLO 46’).
Substitutes not used: 12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 30. Matt ACTON (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Melbourne City FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 3. Robbie WIELAERT, 5. Erik PAARTALU, 6. Aaron MOOY, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 11. Damien DUFF, 15. David WILLIAMS (26. Marc MARINO 75’), 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 18. Paulo RETRE (25. Jacob MELLING, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC (14. James BROWN 69’), 24. Patrick KISNORBO (c).
Substitutes not used: 20. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 27. Ross ARCHIBALD.
Yellow cards: 18. Paulo RETRE (20’), 25. Jacob MELLING (66’), 23. Mate DUGANDZIC (78’)
Red cards: Nil

Best players

3 – Aaron Mooy (MC)

2- Patrick Kisnorbo (MC)

1 – Luke Brattan (BR)