2011 in review- part 2: W-League and NYL

Yesterday in part 1 we looked at the success of the Hyundai A-League in 2011, today as we countdown to 2012, lets take a look back at the W-League and NYL years.

 

W-League:

It was quiet a year for the W-League side as Jeff Hopkins side set about getting their title back from Sydney in the closing rounds of the regular season. January saw Brisnbane playing three games of which they won one over their rivals from the harbour city, but draws to Newcastlte and Melbourne saw Brisbane end the season in 2nd place.

 

January:

1st– Sydney FC 0-1 Brisbane Roar (Burgess 48’)

16th – Brisbane Roar 0-0 Melbourne Victory

22nd– Brisbane Roar 0-0 Newcastle Jets

 

February:

5th– Brisbane Roar (Butt 23’, Cordner 96’) 2-2 (4-2 on p-k’s) Canberra United (Munoz 57’, Heyman 97’)

12th– Sydney FC (Leadbrook 35’) 1-2 Brisbane Roar (Butt 9’, De Vanna 64’)

 

February is finals time in the W-League and a 2nd place finish meant a home semi final against the 3rd placed Canberra United and in a hot afternoon at Ballymore Brisbane won the day on a penalty shoot-out with goalkeeper Casey Dumont slotting home the winning penalty. Unfortunatly there would be no home grand final as Sydney FC secured hosting rights by defeating Melbourne Victory. So onto the showpiece and Tameka Butt gave Brisbane an early lead, which Kylie Leadbrook cancelled out midway through the 1st half. Brisbane went ahead for a 2nd time at the midway point of the 2nd half when Lisa De Vanna found the back of the net before celebrating by running into the grandstand. Brisbane held on for the victory and became the 1st side to win the W-League twice, and in doing so became the 1st team to win the final away from home.

 

October:

22nd– Sydney FC (Rollason 26’) 1-1 Brisbane Roar (Burgess 51’)

 

The new season kicked off in late October with a grand final re-match with Brisbane coming from a goal down in the 2nd half to grab a point. Unfortunatly due to a round 2 bye, this was the clubs only fixture in the months.

 

November:

5th– Brisbane Roar (Alleway 18’, Gielnik 55’) 2-3 Newcastle Jets (Andrew 24’, De Vanna 72-pen, 83’- pen)

12th– Adelaide United (Rajcic 76’) 1-2 Brisbane Roar (Polkinghorne 38’, Spina 63’)

19th– Perth Glory (Kete 24’, Tabain 79’) 2-5 Brisbane Roar (Butt 6’, 43’, 75’, Gielnik 59’, Polkinghorne 71’)

26th – Brisbane Roar (Gielnik 47’) 1-0 Melbourne Victory

 

November was a  particularly busy month for the ladies starting with a home match against Newcastle, and it was last seasons grand final hero Lisa De Vanna who popped up with a late double to seal the points for her new team. From there Brisbane went on the road and secured good wins in Adelaide and Perth to get them moving up the ladder. They ended the season with a good victory at home down in Cleveland.

 

December:

3rd– Brisbane Roar (Burgess 7’, Brush 88’- o.g) 2-2 Canberra United (Shiphard 9’-pen, Heyman 78’)

10th– Brisbane Roar (Luik 6’, Gielnik 90’) 2-0 Adelaide United

17th– Melbourne Victory (Fletcher 78’) 1-1 Brisbane Roar (Gielnik 91)

 

December started with a much anticipated clash with ladder leading Canberra United, with Brisbane coming back to grab a point they probably deserves via an own goal from the Canberra captain. Brisbane then took a game north to the Sunshine Coast where they grabbed both an early goal and a late goal in a 2-0 win over Adelaide.  Rounding out a rather successful 2011 was a trip to Geelong to take on Melbourne where a last gasp equaliser earned a point which gives the girls a chance to return to the semi-finals and maybe even defend their championship in 2012.

 

Here’s a look at the table as things stand at the end of 2011:

 

 

Club

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

PTS

1

Canberra United FC

9

6

3

0

18

9

9

21

2

Brisbane Roar

8

4

3

1

16

10

6

15

3

Sydney FC

7

4

2

1

22

5

17

14

4

Melbourne Victory

9

4

2

3

17

8

9

14

5

Newcastle Jets FC

7

3

0

4

13

14

-1

9

6

Adelaide United FC

8

1

0

7

5

21

-16

3

7

Perth Glory FC

8

1

0

7

7

31

-24

3

 

National Youth League:

 

October:

22nd– Brisbane Roar (Borello 65’, Dougall 70’) 2-0 Gold Coast United

29th– Brisbane Roar (Thurtell 37’) 1-3 Adelaide United (Kamara 20’, Da Silva 80’, Monaco 86’)

 

The season began brightly with a youth M1 derby where substitutes Brandon Borello and Kenneth Dougall scored in quick succession. Borello scoring a goal against the Coast on debut has to be amongst my top NYL moments of the year! A week later Brisbane took on an Adelaide side who put up a much tougher fight then their A-League counterparts did and came away with a 3-1 victory.

 

November:

6th- Melbourne Victory (Jeggo 9’) 1-5 Brisbane Roar (Nakic 26-o.g, Jackson 28’, Cirjak 33’, Bush 47, Lambadaridis 84’)

12th– Brisbane Roar (Lambadaridis 10’, Fitzgerald 17’, 30’) 3-2 Australian Institute of Sport (Proia 12’, 45’- pen)

20th– Newcastle Jets (Virgili 3’, Bradbery 30’, 63’) 3-6 Brisbane Roar (Dougall 2’, Fitzgerald 10’, 52’, 80’, Visconte 35’, Cirjak 84’)

27th– Brisbane Roar (Thurtell 42’, Fitzgerald 58’) 2-2 Perth Glory (Vittiglia 33’, Makarounas 65’)

 

November began down in Melbourne and Brisbane responded to Victory’s early goal with 5 of their own in what was a very tidy performance -on the highlights video atleast-. Brisbane then welcomed AIS to Redlands and despite playing the entire 2nd half a man short they held out and won 3-2 over a very young side. The following week the slammed half a dozen past the Jets in Newcastle with Fizgerald netting a hattrick. A disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Perth rounded out the month.

 

December:

3rd– Sydney Fc (Powell 15’, Mallia 50’, 71’, Lum 66’) 4-4 Brisbane Roar (Visconte 22’, 56’-pen, Fitzgerald 57’, Cirjak 88’)

11th– Brisbane Roar (Groenwald 4’-o.g, Thurtell 8’) 2- 5 Melbourne Heart (Williams 70’, 88’, Walker 75’, 76’, 85’)

17th– Brisbane Roar (Fitzgerald 60’) 1-0 Central Coast Mariners

 

December began in Sydney and the two sides dished up a entertaining 4-4 draw with league wide top scorer Mitchell Mallia netting twice for the hosts, and Rocky Visconte doing likewise for the Roar. The Heart came to town the following week and it appeared as though Brisbane would be in store for a comfortable victory, but 5 goals in 18 2nd half minutes meant it was a dissapointing day for the youth side. They did however round out 2011 on a high note with a 1-0 victory over the Mariners at Suncorp Stadium in what was a good experience for the youngsters.

So with 9 of the 18 rounds completed the table looks like this:

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Perth Glory 9 6 2 1 20 13 37+7 20
2 Melbourne Heart 9 6 0 3 18 15 33+3 18
3 Brisbane Roar 9 5 2 2 26 20 36+6 17
4 Sydney FC 9 4 2 3 24 17 37+7 14
5 Newcastle Jets 9 4 2 3 20 15 35+5 14
6 Central Coast Mariners 9 4 1 4 17 10 37+7 13
7 Gold Coast United 9 4 1 4 16 15 31+1 13
8 Australian Institute of Sport 8 3 0 5 12 17 25−5 9
9 Adelaide United 9 2 2 5 11 20 21−9 8
10 Melbourne Victory 8 0 0 8 5 26 9−21 0

 

 

Competition top scorers:

Mitchell Mallia (Sydney) – 11

Chris Payne (Newcastle) – 9

Nicholas Fitzgerald (Brisbane) – 8

Zac Walker (Melbourne H) -6

Justin Hayward (Central Coast) – 5

Liam Woodling (Adelaide) – 4

Ndumba Makeche (Perth) – 4


Match preview: Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne Victory

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory Saturday, 31 December 2011 Venue: Suncorp Stadium Local kick-off: 7:30pm

Referees: Jarred Gillett / Dennis Silk / Brad Hobson / Adam Kersey

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith, 3. Shane Stefanutto (Capt.), 4. Matt Jurman , 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Kofi Danning, 10. Henrique, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 14. Matt Mundy, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 24. Nick Fitzgerald. *two to be omitted*

In: 14. Matt Mundy (promoted), 24. Nick Fitzgerald (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: 21. James Meyer (adductor injury – 2 weeks), 22. Thomas Broich (heel injury – 2 weeks), Henrique (knee injury – 2 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Fabio, 4. Petar Franjic, 6. Leigh Broxham, 7. Matthew Kemp, 8. Grant Brebner, 9. Jean Carlos Solorzano, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 12. Rodrigo Vargas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 14. Billy Celeski, 15. Tom Pondeljak, 16.Carlos Hernandez, 17, Jimmy Jeggo, 18. Danny Allsopp, 19. Isaka Cernak , 20. Lawrence Thomas (GK), 21. Ante Covic (GK), 22. Harry Kewell, 23. Adrian Leijer (c) *six to be omitted*

In: 12. Rodrigo Vargas (promoted), 14. Billy Celeski (returns from suspension)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Tando Velaphi (stress fracture)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 19): Brisbane Roar wins 5, Melbourne Victory wins 10 (4 draws)

 

Team News:

Substitutes:

Brisbane: Redmayne, Jurman, Hingert, Fitzgerald.

Omitted: Mundy, Visconte.

 

Melbourne: Thomas, Vargas, Brebner, Allsopp.

Omitted: Ferreira, Rojas, Solórzano.

 

With Brisbane’s current injury crisis there aren’t really a lot of options available for Postecoglou, so he’s by and large going to have stick with the same core of players. If Issey and Nichols are ruled out then Fitzgerald and Luke Brattan will surely come in. But imo anyway I really hope that Fitzgerald is apart of the squad tomorrow because he’s not only earned it in preseason but also in the youth league. It’s probably going to come down to either him or Visconte, but if it were me I would be taking one of Jurman or Hingert off the bench. I think that Hingert would make more sense because he can add something in an offensive sense and he’s been somewhat impressive in recent matches.

 

For Melbourne they are so up and down you never know what you’re going to get, and their selections have reflected that. At the back there’s always a chance Vargas comes in for Franjic but I think Mehmet will probably stick with him. In midfield is where it’s tough to predict what they’ll do. There’s every chance that im completely wrong on this, but I think Celeski will come straight into the starting line-up. I also wouldn’t rule out Brebner starting ahead of Celeski in a more defensive move. There’s also a chance I guess that Rojas and Ferreira could also be apart of the squad, infact upon reflection I think Ferreira is more likely to be in the squad than Brebner, but either way. Upfront the starting choice is easy, and on the bench it appears as thou Allsopp is preferred to JCS, even thou imo at least JCS is by far the better player.

 

Season form:

Brisbane: WWWWDDWWLLLLL

Melbourne Victory: DLDWDDDWLDWL

 

Season record vs. Melbourne Victory:

Saturday November 5- Melbourne Victory (Thompson 10’, 21’) 2-2 Brisbane Roar FC (Henrique 6’, Broich 27’)

 

Top scorers:

Brisbane: Besart Berisha (9)

Melbourne Victory: Archie Thompson (6)

 

Assists:

Brisbane: Thomas Broich (5)

Melbourne Victory: Archie Thompson (4)

 

All-time record against Melbourne Victory:

Total: Played 19: Won 5, Drawn 4, Lost 10. Goals for 21, Goals against 31.

At Suncorp Stadium:

Total: Played 8: Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 5. Goals for 5, Goals against 9.

 

Keys to the game:

Brisbane:

Brisbane absolutely must find their shooting boots, and quick. In the past 5 games they’ve had barely ¼ of the shots they had previously, blame this on Broich not playing if you wish but it’s not good enough. More penetration and movement are needed in the attacking third, two ingredients that have been largely lacking recently. They also need to get the ball into Berisha in positions where he can score.  Perhaps coming up against a Victory side that leaks goals is going to be a big bonus for the Roar.

The midfield likewise needs to lift their output, as imo at least the two men in front of Paartalu have not been as dynamic moving forward in recent weeks, and have began to just play low risk passes square instead of the usual more attacking, riskier passes. Paartalu as well hasn’t been the same with his passing game of late. Defensively I think they are going fine, it’s just individual mistakes further up the park that are leaving them exposed to counter attacks. Infact the Smith- Adnan partnership has really flourished in recent weeks.

 

There really isn’t a lot that Brisbane can take out of their 1st clash vs. Victory this season in an attacking sense given they played with 9 men for 55 mins and parked the bus 2nd half.  Defensively however they need to be aware of the threat in behind that Archie Thompson and Harry Kewell possess. The duo stung Brisbane twice in rnd 5 and they could have done it a 3rd time in the 2nd half as well.

 

Melbourne:

For Victory they really need to tighten things up at the back because they’ve been leaking goals far too often this season, I guess for them it’s a good time to face Brisbane. But in attack it’s a different storey given the recent purple patch of form for Archie Thompson and Carlos Hernandez, both of whom figure to be central protagonists for Victory tomorrow night. The Kewell form issue is also one that Melbourne needs to solve because they can’t have a marquee player like that going thru the season without scoring goals. It should be a cracking game, and a great way to send 2011 out with a bang, a year Brisbane fans won’t want to forget.

 

Coaches comments:

* It’s actually vice-captain Shane Stefanutto this week.

“It’s lovely to be playing them on New Year’s Eve, I think it’s a blockbuster game,” he said.

“As a player, I’m really looking forward to it and looking forward to challenging myself against top-quality players.

“On paper, everyone says they’re the best team in the league and looking at it, they’ve got class all over the field.

“I think we as the Brisbane Roar are a good team as well, so I think it’s nice to be able to challenge ourselves against a team like this and on and on an occasion like this, I can’t wait.”

“You can’t just concentrate on one player, like Harry [Kewell],” he said.

“If you do that, Archie will have field day and also, Carlos Hernandez is starting to hit form so I really don’t want to concentrate on Harry because they’ve got some weapons in that team.”

 


Year in review- part 1. A-League

What a 12 months it has been for Brisbane Roar, in this two part series we’ll take a look back at the highs, lows and everything in between in the most successful 12 months in club history. In part one we’ll look at the Hyundai A-League side.

 

January:

(HAL) 2nd – Adelaide United 0-1 Brisbane Roar (Solórzano 69’)

(HAL) 7th– Brisbane Roar (Nichols 63’) 1-1 Perth Glory (Sterjovski 31’)

(HAL) 12th– Central Coast Mariners (Kwasnik 37’, Simon 47’, Perez 74-pen) 3-3 (HAL) Brisbane Roar (Paartalu 23’, Broich 65’, Meyer 79’)

(HAL) 26th– Brisbane Roar (Meyer 85’, 90’) 2-0 Wellington Phoenix

26th- Luke DeVere transfers to Gyangnam

(HAL) 29th– Brisbane Roar (Solórzano 5’, Meyer 63’) 2-1 Sibon 75’)

 

The month started with captain Matt McKay being selected for the Socceroos Asian Cup campaign where he became a key cog in the run to the final. Back home in Brisbane the year started in Adelaide in a top of the table clash with Brisbane putting on an impressive away showing before a draw at home to a plucky Perth side. Then while the floods were affecting the entire region the boys put it too one side and came away with a good away point down in Gosford, before rounding out the month with ‘home’ games at Skilled Park. Before the month was over, Luke DeVere transferred to Korean side Gyangnam, with Daniel Bowles replacing him in the 1st team.

 

February:

(HAL) 8th North Queensland Fury (Killian 65’), 1-2 Brisbane Roar (Nichols 14’, Henrique 58’)

10th– Matthew Jurman signs on for next season, from Sydney FC

(HAL) 12th Brisbane Roar (Barbarouses 3’, Paartalu 42’, Henrique 66’, Broich 85’) 4-0 Gold Coast United

(HAL) 19th Central Coast Mariners 0-2 Brisbane Roar (Barbarouses 52’, McKay 73’)

(HAL) 26th Brisbane Roar (Broich 63’, Henrique 91’) 2-2 Central Coast Mariners (McBreen 39, Bozanic 40’)

 

February was a clinical month for the Roar, with the Premiers Plate already wrapped up; they travelled to Robina for a relocated NQ Fury home game due to Tropical Cyclone Yasi. They say 1003 people were there but it seemed like only 2/3 or that were there. They then rounded out the regular season by smashing the Gold Coast and in doing so recording their 1st ever victory over United. The semi- finals series was going to plan with a 2-0 win in Gosford, but two Mariner goals in 60seconds flipped the tie on its head. Luckily Theo stepped up in the 2nd half with some big saves, with Henrique and Broich slotting home to secure the home grand final everyone wanted.

 

March:

(HAL) 13th Brisbane Roar (Henrique 117’, Paartalu 120’) 2-2 Central Coast Mariners (Kwasnik 96’, Bozanic 103’)

17th Milan Susak transfers to Minangkabau F.C.

18th– Ange Postecoglou signs new 3 year contact as BRFC Manager 28th– Jean Carlos Solórzano transfers to Melbourne Victory

 

There was only the one fixture for Brisbane in March, but it was the biggest of the year, and with 52,500 people in attendance the stage was set for a big match. Following an even 90 minutes it all unravelled in the 1st half of extra time, but that famed fighting spirit shone through once again as Henrique and Paartalu levelled the tie at the death. Theo then saved a pen or two, Henrique scored and Brisbane won the double. The celebrations lasted for a fair while and included a parade through the city and receiving the keys to the city. Ange then resisted the overtures of Victory to sign a 3 year deal.

 

June:

3rd– Redlands United 0-0 Brisbane Roar (Franjic 53’)

8th – Peninsula Power 0-3 Brisbane Roar (Bush 33’, Sludden 63’, Schmitz 72’)

12th– Sunshine Coast (Holmes 39’) 1-1 Brisbane Roar (Fitzgerald 65’)

22nd– Eastern Suburbs 0-3 Brisbane Roar (Barbarouses 32’, Fitzgerald 75, McKay 77’)

27th– Kofi Danning signs on from Sydney FC

29th- Brisbane Olympic (Chung 23’) 1-5 Brisbane Roar (Murdocca 21’, Broich 28’, Nichols 73’), Barbarouses 80’, McKay 83’)

Following two months of rest, relaxation and hard training, the boys were back in the preseason in early June ready to do it all again. The early results and performances were encouraging and it appeared as though things would be staying the same, despite a few personnel changes.

 

July:

4th– Jack Hingert signs on from Dandenong Thunder

16th– Kosta Barbarouses transfers to FC Alania Vladikavkaz

17th– Ipswich Invitational XI 0-3 Brisbane Roar (Broich 11’, Nichols 57’, Quinn 90’)

27th– Rochedale Rovers 0-2 Brisbane Roar (Fitzgerald 57’, 87’)

 

In July the boys took a couple of weeks off to freshen up before phase 2 of the preseason, with only the two matches being played. There was a big crowd out in Ipswich for the match out their which was a positive and I believe they raised a fair amount of money for people who lost everything in the floods out there which is nice.

 

August:

3rd– Brisbane Wolves (Hopkins 16’-p, Clulow 30’) 2-4 Brisbane Roar (Nichols 22’-p, Fitzgerald 26’, Meyer 59’, Jurman 72’)

10th– Brisbane City (Shepherd 20’, 38’) 2-4 Brisbane Roar (Murdocca 11’, Brattan 53’, Cirjak 70’, Dougall 83’)

16th– Sayed Mohammad Adnan signs on

16th– Besart Berisha signs on from Armenia Bielefeld

16th– Brisbane Strikers 0-5 Brisbane Roar (Meyer 4’, 10’, Bush 64’, 83’, Danning 67’)

20th– Wellington Phoenix (Rigters 66’) 1-5 Brisbane Roar (Meyer 46’, 92’, Nichols 47’, Broich 57’, Nichols 73’)

25th– Matt McKay transfers to Glasgow Rangers F.C

27th– QSL Northern All- Stars 0-1 Brisbane Roar (Nichols 30’)

30th– Issey Nakajima- Farran signs on from AC Horsens

 

In August pre-season really began to ramp up with a couple of new signings coming in, but sadly club captain and foundation player Matt McKay moved on to Glasgow Rangers following 6 solid years at the Roar. On the park they took on BPL leaders Brisbane Wolves who gave the boys quiet a test, before heading across the ditch to take on Wellington. The result was a 5-1 smashing that gave everyone a lot of confidence and it appeared that they were picking up where they left off.

 

September:

11th– Melbourne Victory (Hernandez 39’-p, Allsopp 59’) 2-0 Brisbane Roar

17th– Brisbane Roar 0-3 Adelaide United (Murdocca 10’- o.g, Djite 48’, La Stella 69’)

23rd– Corey Brown, George Lambadaridis and Nick Fitzgerald sign on as full time u/21 players.

24th– University of Queensland 0-3 Brisbane Roar (Meyer 2’, 10’, 15’)

 

September saw the end of the pre-season campaign with a pair of defeats to Adelaide and Melbourne Victory proving disappointing, but the preseason ended on a positive note with a 3-0 win over UQ.

 

October:

7th– Abruzial Bakrie becomes primary owner of Brisbane Roar

8th– Brisbane Roar (Nichols 77’) 1-0 Central Coast Mariners

15th – Sydney FC 0-2 Brisbane Roar (Berisha 42’, Broich 70’)

21st– Brisbane Roar (Paartalu 13’, Berisha 60’, Nichols 78’) 3-0 Gold Coast United

28th– Brisbane Roar (Henrique 21’-p, 36’-p, Berisha 23’, 27’, 29’, 69’, Nakajima- Farran 81’)

 

Right on the brink of the new season the club had some good news off the park with Indonesian billionaire Abruzial Bakrie becoming the new primary owner of the club. The good news continued on the part with a 1-0 victory over the Mariners in the Grand Final rematch. They followed that up with wins over Sydney and Gold Coast before recording the clubs biggest ever win with a 7-1 annihilation of Adelaide.

 

November:

5th– Melbourne Victory (Thompson 9’, 20’) 2-2 Brisbane Roar (Henrique 5’-p, Broich 27’)

13th– Brisbane Roar (Berisha 11) 1-1 Wellington Phoenix (Brown 36’)

19th– Newcastle Jets (Griffiths 44’) 1-2 Brisbane Roar (Henrique 56’, Meyer 82’)

26th Brisbane Roar (Berisha 23’, 45’, Nakajima-Farran 33’, 41’) 4-0 Perth Glory

 

September started down in Melbourne with 9 man Victory holding out for a 2-2 draw, before Wellington came to town and parked the metaphorical bus with the Roar settling for a 2nd consecutive draw. Brisbane then won in Newcastle to equal the all-time undefeated record in Australian sport, before going on to break the record a week later with a 4-0 smashing of Perth at home. It was a fitting celebration of a quiet remarkable accomplishment.

 

December:

4th– Sydney FC (Petratos 1’, Emerton 20’) 2-0 Brisbane Roar

6th– Brisbane Roar drawn into Group F of the ACL with Beijing Guoan, Ulsan Hyundai and an unknown Japanese side.

9th– Brisbane Roar (Nichols 78’) 1-2 Melbourne Heart (Germano 12’, Babalj 27’)

14th– Wellington Phoenix (Ifill 27’, Ward 81’) 2-0 Brisbane Roar

17th– Brisbane Roar (Danning 83’) 1-2 Central Coast Mariners (Amini 6’, Bojic 45’)

26th– Gold Coast United (Severino 88’) 1-0 Brisbane Roar

 

While the previous 11 months were full of high after high, December was month that brought all Brisbane fans back to earth, starting with a 1st loss in 448  days with a 2-0 defeat against Sydney. That week thou fans turned their sights towards Asia with news that Brisbane would play Beijing Guoan, Ulsan Hyundai and the Emperor’s Cup winner. Later that week Brisbane would lose at home for the 1st time in some 20 odd months with a 2-1 loss to Melbourne Heart. 3 more losses to Wellington, Central Coast and Gold Coast sees Brisbane trying to break a 5 game losing streak and end the season in style.

 

It’s been quiet the year for the Hyundai A-League side, Premiers, Champions and record breakers. 2012 looms as another exciting year- the challenge of defending the premiership, the championship and qualifying for Asia remain, but this time are joined by the chance to go up against the best on the continent and with a bit of luck who’s to say Brisbane wont go deep into the competition. In part two we’ll look at the year for the Youth team and the Women’s.


Disiplinary Record

 

No, this isn’t a post critisisng the clubs disiplinary record, this is just a mere update on the yellow card situation. Remember 5 yellows gets you a 1 match ban.

 

4 Yellows:

Besart Berisha

 

2 Yellows:

Ivan Franjic

Mitch Nichols

Matthew Jurman

 

1 Yellow:

Shane Stefanutto

Kofi Danning

Luke Brattan

Henrique

Sayed Mohammed Adnan

Matt Smith
Massimo Murdocca

Erik Paartalu

Jack Hingert

Michael Theoklitos


Emperor’s Cup finalists known

 

Well were down to just two teams in the 2011 Japanese Emperor’s Cup, F.C Tokyo will take on Kyoto Sanga FC in the 2011 finale, with both clubs winning their respective semi-finals today.

 

In the 1st semi-final, F.C Tokyo defeated Cerezo Osaka by the only goal to secure a place in the finale. Tokyo for those unaware is the club of Socceroo Jade North.

F.C Tokyo 1:  Yazawa (77’)

Cerezo Osaka 0:

 

In the second semi-final it looked like  Kyoto Sanga were headed for the final having come back from a 1-0 half time deficit, however Yokohama grabbed a 90th minute equaliser to send it to extra time. Kyoto however had the last laugh adding two goals late in extra time to take the tie 4-2.

Kyoto Sanga 4: Kudo (50’), Dutra (72’), Kubo (116′), Komai (120′)

Yokohama F. Marinos 2: Watanabe (42’), Nakazawa (90′)

2011 Emperor’s Cup Finalists:

 

The final will be played on New Years Day and will take place at the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo –pictured below- so I guess you could say Tokyo have the home ground advantage.

 


Smith sticks around for another two.

 

Despite the negativity around the club atm having lost 5 consecutive matches, club captain Matt Smith clearly thinks it’s still a good place to play football and he showed it by signing a contract through the end of the 2013/2014 season.

 

The signing itself shouldn’t come as a surprise given the quotes attributed to Ange at the time he was appointed as captain, but it’s good to have it sorted. We all know what Smith brings to the table and to have a solid dependable defender secured long term is a plus. Hopefully we can see him back to his best out on the park in the coming weeks.

 

The other positive is this keeps the defensive stocks reasonably high with Smith joining Ivan Franjic, Shane Stefanutto, Jack Hingert and Matt Jurman as defenders contracted for next season and beyond. Still need probably two defenders thou, of which one must be a central defender.

Here are a few quotes from Smith and Postecoglou:

Brisbane skipper Matt Smith:

“I’m very happy, we’ve been talking for a while and I’m absolutely stoked to finally sign,” Smith said.

“It was just a matter of when really, after the grand final last year Ange brought it up and there is no place I would rather be.

“I see a lot of growth here at the club and what we’ve done over the past 18 months is just a small glimpse into Ange’s plans here and I want to play a big part in that.

“The last couple of years I’ve also seen growth in my own game and I’m just aiming to get better and better.”

Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou:

“He’s done very well in the past 18 months and we’re keen to keep the nucleus of this squad together,” Postecoglou said.

“In the A-League, it’s probably the biggest challenge for any club to try to keep the nucleus of players moving forward and he was one of the main ones who was out of contract this year so it’s good that we’ve locked him away for another couple of years.

“He’s been playing well, he’s had his own injury problems to overcome, but he’s wholehearted in his approach and he’s doing all right things and all the things I expected of him.”


Controversial penalty decides M1 derby

 

Well that was controversial outcome wasn’t it. Gold Coast took the points but there are is no limit of talking points out of this- you can look at the obvious one which is the penalty, the referee’s performance, the amount of cards and the rather insipid attacking performance of the Roar. Perhaps GC deserves their victory because they probably shaded the 2nd half, but in truth this was a poor match between two sides that are not at their best right now.

Starting Lineups:

Substitutions:

Brisbane:

Hingert for Nakajima-Farran (59’), Visconte for Murdocca (59’), Jurman for Smith (69’)

Gold Coast:

McGowan for Macallister (13’), Harold for McGowan (73’), Severino for Rigters (83’)

Early sub:

The lizard system is back folks! Not often will I talk about individual changes in games, nor is it often that I’ll give credit to Miron for anything, but in this case I think it’s warranted. Swapping a striker for a defender while at 0-0 may seem an odd decision, but it worked a treat for United. Basically it freed up Salley to move into midfield as an enforcer/ball winner type which complemented Halloran and Brown reasonably well. It also allowed Thwaite the confidence to step forward once or twice and help create the play. I’ll also give him credit for the halftime switch at halftime moving Jungschlager central and Halloran wide right, because that had a big impact on the 2nd half. Most of if not all of the chances came from that side, including the ‘penalty’.

Insipid Brisbane attack:

Well last week we saw some signs that the famed Brisbane attacking machine was making a return to their best, but against Gold Coast on Monday I didn’t really see it. There was the usual possession that we’ve come to accept but there is a serious lack of penetration right now from midfield. I might try and write about it between now and Saturday but it may have to wait til next week given this is the holiday season and im a tad busy right now, but I’ll get round to attempting to dissect the reasons for the lack of quality in attack soon.

 

In short there are three key cogs from the attack missing –Broich, Henrique, Meyer-, Issey isn’t the greatest player for mine and as each week goes my confidence in him becoming the player we were all hoping for are dropping. I’ll give him a couple more games before I right him off totally, but the jury is out. So what is left for Postecoglou to choose from? Well you’re left with the young Kofi Danning, the injury prone Rocky Visconte and a defender in Jack Hingert.

 

Danning is far too inconsistent right now imo to be a starter in this league, as an impact sub he’s effective but im not buying him as a starter. Visconte has been plagued with hamstring injuries in his 18 months at the Roar and its going to take him time to regain form and fitness, atm the signs are that he’s still a ways away from that. Hingert we all know is a converted Fullback but I like him in the side, maybe not as a winger but for mine at least he’s pushing Stefanutto for that spot on the left hand side.

 

 

Penalty decision:

Ok now its time to get into the controversy, starting with that penalty decision. By now im sure everyone has both formed their own opinion of the incident, and have also seen the comments from coaches and players so I wont add them here, all I will say is that it was imo at least just outside the penalty box. There is really no debate that it’s a foul by Visconte, but I firmly believe it was outside the box, but what can you do? You get some, you miss some; don’t forget Brisbane got away with one down in Melbourne last season with ‘Theo-gate’. The penalty was a deadest shocker from Severino as well, and I have to think Theo is a little disappointed he couldn’t keep it out given he got two hands to in, but it rolled across the line so good for him…I guess.

 

Refereeing performance:

Ok someone mentioned to me on the way home we’ve had this guy a lot this season, so I went and had a look at it and we’ve had Griffiths- Jones only twice, this match and the home game against Melbourne Heart, infact a quick look shows me we’ve had Peter Green -3 times- this season more than anyone else so make of that what you will.

 

But back to Griffiths-Jones and his performance on the weekend I thought it was quiet poor to be honest. 11 yellow cards, some of which im not sure why they were given –Theoklitos- and then there was the incident that most fans remember, offcourse im talking about him getting in the way and catching the ball. He might of seen the funny side of it, but neither myself, the players or the fans behind the goals saw the funny side of it, especially since imo he was in the way time and again, basically he was sitting in that inside left passage where Brisbane like to play through. Not sure what he could have done about it or if differs significantly from other weeks, but it really frustrated me that time and again potential attacks were broken up because of the fact that instead of an open passing lane from the mid to the left wing, there was a referee in the way.

 

Support:

Ok, long time readers of this will know I never mention the support, but inside the stadium at least I thought it was sensational. It appeared to me as someone who looks at support from the outside looking in that it was well organised and both groups combined well, and I thought that it was exceptionally loud, something that didn’t really show up on the television. So well done to the Den, RCC and any other supporter group involved in that, it was great from the sidelines, as for outside I think there’s no place for that stuff but I didn’t see it so I wont say too much.

 

Gold Coast 1 (Daniel Severino 88’) Brisbane Roar 0 Monday, 26 December 2011 Venue: Skilled Park Local Kick Off: 6:30pm (7:30pm AEDT)

Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Gold Coast United: 20.Jerrad Tyson [gk], 3.Michael Thwaite (c), 5.Kristian Rees, 6.Paul Beekmans, 12.Dylan Macallister (23.Dylan McGowan 13’ (17.Chris Harold 73’)), 14. Ben Halloran, 15.Adama Traore, 16.Maceo Rigters (21.Daniel Severino 81’), 18.James Brown, 22.Peter Jungschlager, 24.Jonas Salley

Substitues not used: 40.Chris O’Connor [gk].

Yellow cards: 18. James Brown (23’), 24. Jonas Salley (41’), 6. Paul Beekmans (50’), 23. Dylan McGowan (66’), 21. Daniel Severino (88’). 17. Chris Harold (90’+3)

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith (C) (4. Matt Jurman 69’), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca (19. Jack Hingert 59’), 9. Kofi Danning, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran (14. Rocky Visconte 59’), 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols

Substitues not used: 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK)

Yellow cards: 6. Erik Paartalu (24’). 16. Mohamed Adnan (45’+1), 1. Michael Theoklitos (46’), 19. Jack Hingert (71’), 7. Besart Berisha (88’)

Red cards: Nil

Player ratings:

Brisbane:

Theoklitos 6, Franjic 6, Stefanutto 5, Smith 6, Adnan 7, Paartalu 6, Murdocca 6, Nichols 7, Danning 6, Berisha 6, Issey, 5, Jurman 6, Hingert 6, Visconte 5.

Gold Coast:

Tyson 6, Thwaite 7, Rees 6, Salley 6, Traore 6, Jungschlager 6, Beekmans 6, Brown 6, Halloran 8, Rigters 6, Macallister 5, McGowan 6, Harold 5, Severino 6.

Coaches comments:

“We were okay, it was a solid first half and we were trying to force the game the whole time,” Postecoglou said.

“We’re just obviously lacking a bit of cutting edge in the front third and we’re not scoring goals.

“If you don’t score goals you can’t win games.

“Overall it was a decent enough game but we’re struggling in the front third and that’s the area we need to address.”