It’s been another tough week in the AFC Champions League for Brisbane, with their latest loss away from home to Kashima Antlers further diminishing the chances of progression to the last 16. For now however the ACL takes a back seat until the April 12th return bout with Kashima Antlers, which means the battle for 3rd spot in the A-League takes priority.
Given the results already in this split round with Melbourne Victory moving 12 points clear with just four games to play, third place is now the best case scenario for the Roar. There is however some strong competition for the home finals in week one, with Melbourne City, Brisbane and Perth Glory separated by just the one point. Glory’s loss to Victory last week however gives both Brisbane and Melbourne City a leg up in that battle for third.
That battle for Brisbane begins with a trip to Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon in what is a fantastic opportunity to get a leg up on the competition, before returning to Brisbane for three of the final four games of the regular season.
What have they done lately?
Adelaide have been in the A-League cellar for the season so far and currently sit five points behind ninth placed Central Coast and all but out of the finals hunt. As virtue of being the defending A-League Champions Adelaide also find themselves in the Asian Champions League, and similarly to Brisbane find themselves bottom of the group with just one point from nine at the halfway mark.
Due to their struggles this season the Reds have undergone something of a transformation since the last time these two sides met back in round 12, with a number of personnel changes over the January transfer window.
Most notably from a Brisbane perspective Henrique lead the exodus in January as Brisbane’s former Grand Final hero headed for the Thai Premier League and was joined heading for the exit by James Holland –China- and Sergi Guardiola –Spain-. Replacing those are former South Korean international midfielder Kim Jae-Sung, Senegalese striker Baba Diawara and former Socceroo Eli Babalj.
This season against Adelaide United
Round 6- Adelaide United 1-1 Brisbane Roar
Round 10- Brisbane Roar 4-0 Adelaide United
Brisbane have controlled the majority of the two encounters against the Reds this season with the Roar having the majority of the chances in the round six clash in Adelaide before a one sided contest here in Brisbane a month later.
Brisbane- Theo, Hingert, North, Papadopoulos, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Borrello, Holman, Arana, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Young, Crestani, Caletti, Brady, D’Agostino.
Omitted- Rowles, Pepper.
Adelaide- Galekovic, Elrich, McGowan, Regan, Garuccio, Kim, McGree, O’Doherty, Makarounas, Cirio, Diawara.
Substitutes- Margush, Warland, Mells, Mileusnic, Babalj.
Omitted- Ochieng, Marino.
All-Time Record against Adelaide United
Matt McKay has been omitted from the final 23 players for Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.
McKay was named in the provisional 30 man squad last week but was amongst seven players left out of the final squad today by the former Brisbane Roar boss.
McKay joins Chris Ikonomidis, Ryan Edwards, Nathan Burns, Awer Mabil, Craig Goodwin and Alex Gersbach in being left out of the final 23.
Today’s news means that the Brisbane captain will be available for next weekends home clash with Melbourne Victory, who will be without James Troisi, Besart Berisha, Jai Ingham and Marco Rojas due to the international window.
McKay, who has 59 caps for the Socceroos since making his debut back in August 2006 now seems unlikely to add to his tally.
Brisbane’s only loss over the window is Dane Ingham who has been selected in the New Zealand squad for their games against Fiji.
Socceroos squad for World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates
Goalkeepers- Mitch Langerak, Matt Ryan, Danny Vukovic.
Defenders- Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Rhyan Grant, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Rhys Williams, Bailey Wright.
Midfielders- Mustafa Amini, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, James Jeggo, Massimo Luongo, Riley McGree, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, James Troisi.
Forwards- Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Matthew Leckie.
After a much needed nine day break, Brisbane Roar are back in action tonight as Matchday 3 of the 2017 AFC Champions League sees the Roar travel to Japan as they take on Kashima Antlers.
This game brings us to the halfway mark of the Group Stage and with just one point out of six so far, a repeat of the dramatic win away to Urawa Red Diamonds back in 2015 would be a massive boost in terms of getting out of the group.
The nine day break will have no doubt freshened the side up, however things are about to get busy once again with seven games coming up over the next 34 days as the A-League Regular Season concludes and the Champions League Group Stage reaches its final stages.
What have they done lately?
Kashima find themselves in 7th place on the J-League table after three matches, picking up two wins from three. At the weekend the Antlers had a 1-0 win at home against Yokohama F. Marions, although they had to wait until the 83rd minute to get their winner from Yuma Suzuki.
In the Champions League Kashima got off to a good start against with a matchday one win over Ulsan before a shock loss away from home to Muanthong United on matchday two. Currently Kashima sit second in Group E, level on points with Ulsan Hyundai however take the tie-breaker on head to head.
For more information on Kashima Antlers, you can read of getting to know you feature here.
John Aloisi has all but flagged his starting XI for this game due to the injuries for Tommy Oar, Thomas Kristensen and Luke DeVere in addition to those who didn’t travel to Japan for this game. In addition to Devere and Oar, Michael Theo, Dane Ingham, Nathan Konstandopoulos and Joey Katebian were left at home.
The only possible selection drama is in the front third where Manuel Arana could get a start ahead of Brandon Borrello if he hasn’t fully recovered from his injury hasn’t fully cleared. Outside of that the side seems to pick itself, with Avram Papadopoulos likely to start alongside Jade North in defence.
Brisbane Roar- Young, Hingert, Papadopoulos, North, Brown, Caletti, McKay, Holman, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Bilic, Crestani, Rowles, Pepper, Arana, Brady, D’Agostino.
As always it’s very difficult to predict the line-ups for teams in the Champions League given the lack of familiarity, so this is the side which defeated Yokohama F. Marinos 1-0 at the weekend.
Kashima Antlers- Sun-Tae, Ito, Ueda, Shoji, Yamamoto, Endo, Leo Silva, Ogasawara, Doi, Pedro, Kanazaki.
Substitutes- Suzuki, Nagaki, Nakamura, Bueno, Misao, Sogohata, Abe.
Elsewhere tonight in Group E the two winners on Matchday Two will meet in South Korea as third placed Ulsan Hyundai play host to group leaders Muanthong United. With just three points separating the four teams in Group E this Matchday’s fixtures –which bring us to the halfway mark in the round- could be pivotal.
Orange Sunday I- Where are they now?
With today being the six year anniversary of Brisbane’s dramatic 2011 A-League Grand Final victory over Central Coast Mariners, here’s a look at where the 16 players who took part that day are now.
Three players from that day, Michael Theo, Thomas Broich and Matt McKay remain at Brisbane Roar today, albeit in the case of McKay he did leave the club after the 2011 Grand Final before returning to the Roar in August 2013.
Kosta Barbarouses (Wellington), Ivan Franjic (Melbourne City), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney) and Mitch Nichols (Western Sydney) all play their football in the A-League for rival clubs while Matt Smith (Bangkok Glass) and Henrique (Chiangrai United) play their football overseas.
Matt Mundy and Shane Stefanutto play in the NPL Queensland for Olympic FC, while Milan Susak (Bonnyrigg), Massimo Murdocca (Avondale), Jean Carlos Solórzano (St. Albans) and Rocky Visconte (Croydon Kings) play NPL football interstate.
Erik Paartalu is currently without a club after leaving Qatari club Al Kharitiyath in January.
Jai Ingham receives All-Whites call-up.
Jai Ingham will join his younger brother Dane to the New Zealand National Team squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Fiji. Ingham, 20, had been on the radar for Samoa and while born in Australia qualifies for New Zealand due to his mother being born in across the Tasman.
Also on the international scene, Besart Berisha has been called up to represent Kosovo in their upcoming World Cup Qualifier against Iceland.
Kaluderovic moves to Thailand
Andrija Kaluderovic is on the move once again after leaving Lithuanian club Zalgiris to Thai Premier League side Port MTI FC. Kaluderovic 20 goals in 19 games were a vital part of the Lithuanian side’s title run last year. So far for Port, Kaluderovic has scored one goal in three appearances.
Weekend goal scorers
There were a few goals scored over the weekend by former Brisbane players, with Mensur Kurtishi netting a brace in First Vienna’s 5-0 win over Parndorf. Kurtishi now has 13 goals in 17 games this season. Elsewhere Besart Berisha scored for Melbourne Victory in their win over Perth Glory, as did Rocky Visconte, Royce Brownlie, Tim Smits and Ben Litfin for their respective clubs over the weekend.
Here’s the tables.
Brisbane’s 2017 AFC Champions League campaign resumes on Tuesday night with the Roar looking to get their campaign back on track against J-League giants Kashima Antlers. As we’ve done with every opponent in the Champions League, lets get to know a bit more about the current J-League Champions.
Kashima Antlers were founded as a semi-professional club back in 1947 as Sumitomo Metal Industries Football Club, playing out of Osaka before moving to Kashima in 1975.
When the newly formed professional J-League was formed in 1992, the club changed it’s name to Kashima Antlers and moved into their current home of the Kashima Soccer Stadium in 1993.
When the professional era of the game began in Japan, Kashima quickly emerged as one of the powerhouses of the competition and are one of just two clubs who have been in the J-League since its conception (Yokohama. F. Marinos is the other). ”
Kashima are the most successful club in the J-League’s history, with their eight Championships the most in the history of the competition. The five Emperors Cup wins is also the most for any club in that competition.
J-League- 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016.
Emperors Cup- 1997, 2000, 2007, 2010, 2016.
J-League Cup- 1997, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2012, 2015.
Japanese Super Cup- 1997, 1998, 1999, 2009, 2010, 2017.
Kashima Soccer Stadium
Kashima play their home games at the Kashima Soccer Stadium, roughly 90 minutes east of Tokyo and in the city of Kashima. The stadium itself is one of the 10 that Japan used to co-host the 2002 World Cup, with the venue playing host to three Group Stage matches. Kashima have played their home games at the ground since it was opened back in 1993.
Record in AFC Champions League
2003- Group Stage.
2008- Quarter Finals.
2009- Round of 16.
2010- Round of 16.
2011- Round of 16.
2015- Group Stage.
Kashima have been a regular representative of the J-League on the continental stage, with 2017 the Antlers seventh time in the competition. Despite never winning the competition, Kashima had a four year run of progressing beyond the Group Stage, with their best performance occurring in 2008 when they lost to Adelaide United 2-1 on aggregate in the Quarter-Finals.
How they Qualified
Kashima qualified for the 2017 AFC Champions League after winning both the 2016 J-League and the 2016 Emperors Cup, winning the League-Cup double for the third time in the last 16 years.
Manager- Masatada Ishii 50 year old Masatada Ishii has been the manager of Kashima Antlers since 2015 after a playing career which saw him make 109 appearances for the club from 1991-1997. In that time Ishii has lead the Antlers to a fifth placed finish in 2015 before winning the J-League in 2016. A J-League Cup win in 2015 and an Emperors Cup win in 2016, in addition to making the final of last seasons Club World Cup has enhanced his reputations as one of the best managers on the continent.
Goalkeepers- 1) Kwan Sun Tae, 21) Hitoshi Sogahata, 29) Shinichiro Kawamata, 31) Yuto Koizumi.
Defenders- 3) Gen Shoji, 5) Naomichi Ueda, 15) Misao Yuto, Shuto Yamamoto, 22) Daigo Nishi, 23) Oda Itsuki, 24) Yukitoshi Ito, 28) Koki Machida.
Midfielders- 4) Hugo Leonardo Serejo, 6) Ryota Nagaki, 8) Doi Shoma, 11) Weverson Leonardo Moura, 13) Atsutaka Nakamura, 20) Kento Misao, 25) Yasushi Endo, 26) Kazune Kubota, 27) Takahide Umebachi, 33) Kanazaki Mu, 36) Tanaka Toshiya, 40) Mitsuo Ogasawara.
Forwards- 7) Pedro Junior, 9) Yuma Suzuki, 14) Kanamori Takeshi, 18) Shuhei Akasaki, 30) Abe Hiroki.
Pedro Junior- Like a lot of J-League clubs, Kashima rely heavily on visa players from Brazil to strengthen their squad, and Brisbane’s matchday 3 opponent have three freshly signed ones at their disposal. The first of those is 30 year old attacker Pedro Junior, who started out his career with Brazilian lower league side Vila Nova. Four clubs and eight loan moves later across both Brazil and Japan –he joined Omida Ardija in 2007 before moving to Gamba Osaka in 2009- , he returned to Vila Nova in 2012.
That’s when Pedro’s career began to take off, after his goalscoring record of 9 goals in 17 games caught the attention of K-League side Jeju United. 17 goals in 29 games in South Korea saw Junior return to the J-League with Vissel Kobe in 2014. 25 goals in 74 games, including 13 in 2014 were enough to draw the interest of Kashima.
Leonardo- 23 year old forward Leonardo is the second of the three Brazilians for the Antlers and arrives in Japan on a season long loan from Brazilian club Palmeiras. The striker started out his career with Gremio before a loan move to Palmeiras was made permanent in 2013. Since then he’s been out on loan with the likes of Santos and Coritiba, with this year’s loan move his first outside of his homeland. Unlike the other two Brazilians at Kashima, Leonardo has been capped by the National Side, making the one appearance back in 2013 where he came off the bench to score in a 4-0 win in a friendly against Bolivia.
Leo Silva- The third and final Brazilian in the Kashima is 31 year old defensive midfielder Leo Silva, who arrives in Kashima after 122 games for Albirex Niigata –scoring 16 goals. Prior to that Silva started out his career at Brazilian club Cruzeiro before moving on to local Sao Paolo sides Americana and Portuguesa. Silva made the move from Brazil to Japan back in 2013, and was named in the J-League team of the year back in 2014.
Kwan Sun-Tae– 32 year old South Korean goalkeeper Kwan Sun-Tae rounds out the four visa players for Kashima, with the shot stopper arriving in Kashima over the off-season. Kwan brings a wealth of experience with him after 255 appearances for Jeonbuk Hyundai where he won three K-League and two AFC Champions League titles, including the 2016 addition.
Japanese Internationals– 22 year old defender Naomichi Ueda and 28 year old midfielder Ryota Nagaki were both called up to the Japanese National Team for their World Cup Qualifiers back in November. Defender Gen Shoji and midfielders Mu Kanazaki and Yashushi Endo have also been called up to the national side over the last year.
Young Brisbane full-back Dane Ingham has today been included in New Zealand’s upcoming 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against Fiji later this month.
The inclusion caps a meteoric rise for the 17 year old, who spent much of the season getting accustomed to his new role at right full-back after shifting back from the front third towards the end of the 2016 NPL Queensland season.
Ingham then capitalised on Brisbane’s congested fixture schedule by joining his older brother Jai in making his professional debut for the Roar in the 6-0 Asian Champions League qualifier against Global FC.
Ingham has gone on to make five appearances all up for the Roar so far this season, including making his A-League debut in round 19 against Melbourne City, before scoring his first professional goal the following week against Perth Glory.
While defensively Ingham has been on a steep learning curve in his new position, the youngster has shown the ability to get forward and provide an option on the overlap which culminated in his goal against Perth.
Dane is joined by his older brother and former Brisbane winger Jai in the All-Whites squad, with manager Anthony Hudson excited to add the duo to his squad ahead.
The duo now stand a chance at being involved in a big year for the All Whites, who will participate in the Confederations Cup in June before trying to qualify for the World Cup later in the year.
“Recently when Dane made his debut for the Roar, for me 20 – 30 minutes into the game and I was sold. I had seen enough. He is a really good player. I have said all along that I wouldn’t be adding unless they add to the squad and these two players do that. I have seen enough to know that they can come in and improve what we are doing.”- Anthony Hudson, NZ Manager.
You can read more and listen to an interview about there selection on the New Zealand Football Website here.
It’s been a busy week for Ingham, who changed agents earlier in the week.
With Ingham called up to the All Whites squad, he will miss the round 24 clash against Melbourne Victory who in turn will be without four players for the game.
Ingham joins Matt McKay in being called up for international football in the coming weeks, with club captain McKay a strong chance to participate in Australia’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.
Brisbane captain Matt McKay has been named in a 30 man Socceroos squad for the upcoming 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.
McKay, now 34 has been left out of the previous squads by Ange Postecoglou and will now get the chance to add to his 59 caps for Australia with his last arriving in the 2-1 loss to England back in May.
As club captain, McKay has made 25 appearances so far this season, with his performances in the midfield making him still an important part of the team.
If selected in the final 23, McKay will miss the Round 24 home game against Melbourne Victory which will further test Brisbane’s depth.
Australia find themselves in a difficult position in Group B, concluding the first half of the fixtures in 3rd place, one point behind Japan and group leader Saudi Arabia. With three of their final five games at home they will however remain confident of qualifying for a fourth successive World Cup.
It’s a massive year for the National Team with an appearance in the Confederations Cup in June adding to a busy year for Ange Postecoglou’s side.
There are a number of potential debutants in the current selection with Sydney FC duo Danny Vukovic and Rhyan Grant in line for a debut after strong form with the league leaders.
Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Ryan Edwards (Partik Thistle), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Awer Mabil (Esjberg) and Adelaide United teenager Riley McGree could also find themselves making their debut after being named in the squad
30 man Socceroos squad
Goalkeepers- Mitchell Langerak (FC Ingolstadt), Matt Ryan (RKC Genk), Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC).
Defenders- Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F Marinos), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Trent Sainsbury (Inter Milan), Brad Smith (AFC Bournemouth), Rhys Williams (Perth Glory), Bailey Wright (Bristol City).
Midfielders- Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Ryan Edwards (Partik Thistle), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Chris Ikonomidis (Aarhus), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Riley McGree (Adelaide United), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Mark Milligan (Baniyas), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory).
Forwards- Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Robbie Kruse (Liaoning Whowin), Awer Mabil (Esbjerg).
Australia will play Iraq in neutral Tehran on March 23rd before returning to Australia to take on UAE in Sydney five days later. The squad will be trimmed from 30 down to 23 after this weekends fixtures.