Brisbane Roar take 2018-19 Youth League Final

by Paul Green:

Foxtel Y-League 2018/19 Season – Final

Sydney Olympic Stadium, Homebush Bay
4:20pm Friday 1st February, 2019

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Tass Mourdoukoutas 79′)
lost to
Brisbane Roar FC 3 (Shannon Brady 22′, Daniel Leck 38′, Mirza Muratovic 61′)


Brisbane Roar never looked like losing the 2018/19 Grand Final out at Sydney Olympic Stadium, early on Friday evening, netting two goals early on and going further ahead not too long after the re-start.

The Wanderers, Grand Final winners last season, took too long to settle and couldn’t deal with the Roar side’s counter-attacking game that relied mostly on speed and a constant element of surprise.

It was a fairly even opening twenty minutes or so, but there were already signs that Brisbane could do some damage on the break, so with most of the Wanderers’ attacks breaking down Roar looked the more likely to get their noses in front first.

And so it proved, as a swift interchange of passes led to Shannon Brady tucking the ball past Elliot Carwardine from a tight angle in the 22nd minute.

Wanderers also attacked with some purpose, but they lacked the organisational discipline to deal with any Roar offensives and their own forays relied too much on individual runs and were let down by an accumulation of too many stray passes.

Roar gained an all-important second goal, seven minutes before the break, after a smart cross from Emlyn Wellsmore on the right was put away crisply at close-range by Daniel Leck.

Wanderers looked to peg one back soon after the resumption, but despite winning a couple of corners, it was the visitors and eventual winners whose own corners also posed a big threat to the home defence and soon enough the Wanderers’ fans’ worst fears were realised when Roar made it 3-0, after only 61 minutes, leaving a mountain to climb for the men clad in red and black.

A clever through pass by Shannon Brady released Mirza Muratovic, whose finish was clinical for that crucial third goal.

Wanderers, soon after this, introduced two fresh substitutes off the bench, having already made one change in the 56th minute and it was the home side that dominated proceedings for the final half an hour.

Stout work by the Roar players, however, thwarted any realistic chance there might have been of the Wanderers pulling three goals back, but there were plenty of chances created and a few near-misses as Roar worked hard to maintain their three-goal cushion.

In the 79th Wanderers finally netted, after a corner from the right, swung over by Mohamed Adam, that the Roar defenders struggled to clear.

As bodies in the six-yard box made it hard to get in any meaningful shots, or even clearances, Wanderers’ defender Tass Mourdoukoutas forced the ball over the line among a sea of legs to give his side a glimmer of late hope.

The speedy Abraham Majok made a superb run down the left in the 84th only for his run to end in the ball bobbling away from him before he could release a shot and three minutes later Mohamed Adam fired narrowly wide, from distance, as time began to run out.

A couple more chances for the Wanderers, including a shot from substitute Marley Peterson that struck his own team mate, close to goal, meant that any hope of an equaliser had mostly evaporated.

Roar almost nabbed a fourth in stoppage-time with Leck rocking the crossbar after darting through an outnumbered defence to confront the keeper.

It was a well-deserved win by the team from Brisbane who were able to display a sound all-round team effort, good shape and structure and a lot of movement off the ball, together with abundant speed and no lack of confidence close to goal.

Wanderers were unable to unlock the well-disciplined defence presented by the Brisbane side and relied a little too much on individual skills compared to their opponents’ slick passing manoeuvres.

Match details:

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 18 Elliot Carwardine (GK); 2 Thomas Aquilina, 5 Tass Mourdoukoutas, 3 Mathie Codier, 15 Daniel Wilmering (4 Noah Pagden 64); 6 Fabian Monge (Marley Peterson 56), 12 Andreas Agamemnonos; 10 Konstanidos Grozos; 7 Abraham Majok, 14 Mohamed Adam, 11 John Roberts (17 Oliver Puflett 64)

Subs not used: 1 Jack Greenwood (RGK), 8 Lochlan Constable

Coach: Arthur Diles

Brisbane Roar FC: 1 Macklin Freke (GK), 2 Emlyn Wellsmore, 4 Aaron Reardon, 5 Izaack Powell, 3 Jordan Courtney-Perkins; 8 Oliver Duncan (13 Brodie Boyce 74), 6 Zac Duncan (10 Bryce Bafford 62)I; 14 Jay Barnett; 11 Daniel Leck, 7 Shannon Brady (17 Lleyton Brooks 81), 9 Mirza Muratovic

Subs not used: 20 Lachlan Hunter (RGK), 19 Cristian Aloisi

Coach: Drew Sherman

Referee  Shane Skinner 9/10
Assistant Referee 1: Sam Kelly; Assistant Referee 2: Jay Hudson; Fourth Official: Hassan Jomaa

Attendance: N/A

Weather: Cool and damp

Ratings and points

Pitch: 9/10
Game: 7/10