Roar drop two in a row as Heart break home record.

 

Well within six days Brisbane have lost both their undefeated record and their long standing home unbeaten streak which dated back to January 2010 and a 2-0 loss against Newcastle. But just as Sydney ended the unbeaten run in good style, Heart came to Brisbane and took the game to the champions and got their rewards for it. For the record the last time Brisbane Roar lost two consecutive competitive games was in the final two rounds of the 2009/10 season when they suffered defeat in Adelaide and Perth to end what was a dismal campaign.

 

Starting Lineups:

Substitutions:

Brisbane:

Danning for Murdocca (65’), Visconte for Nakajima- Farran (65’)

 

Melbourne:

Hoffman for Babalj (61’), Maycon for Worm (74’), Good for Germano (79’)

Selection surprise:

As I mentioned in the preview Heart made their intentions well and truly clear and manager John Van’t Schip stuck true to his word and picked the same X1, his counterpart Ange Postecoglou however did make a bold call at the selection table. The surprise selection was not that Thomas Broich was declared unfit to play, but the decision to put full time u/23 player Nick Fitzgerald in from the stat for his debut. Regular watchers of the Youth team and earlier the pre-season will know that the youngster has been on fire in front of goals this season and to be fair to him he had a decent match and im sure he will improve upon it if given the chance. I was also happy to see Rocky Visconte back in first team calculations for the 1st time this season and thought he had something of an impact when he came on.

 

Early setback:

Ok, not quiet as early as last weekend in Sydney but Brisbane once again conceded the opening goal within the first 10 minutes or so of the match in a sloppy fashion. It seemed like déjà- vu in a way because not only did they concede the first goal, they also conceded goals from corner kicks for the second weekend running- and from the same side too-. This one however was not put in the net by a gust of wind, but instead from the forehead of Jonathan Germano who lost his marker and headed home well. Idk if Rado handles the defending from set pieces as well or just the attacking elements of them, but either way they need to get some practice in on the art of defending a corner. The celebration was also rather humorous I have to say.

 

Double Trouble:

Heart’s second goal was well worked and they took advantage of Brisbane’s high defensive line and their inability to maintain possession of the ball. It was the opening goal scorer Germano who punctured the defensive line before flicking the ball to Eli Babalj –via Mate Dugandzic- who slotted home to make it 2-0 with one third of the game gone. Well created and well taken, and now Brisbane were left with it all to do once more.   

 

Poor possession play:

In the first half especially it seemed like just as Brisbane were getting up a head of steam and attacking, a pass would go astray or would be intercepted. I don’t have the stats to back this up but it just seemed that there were a lot of passes that failed to find their mark, which is highly uncharacteristic of this Brisbane side and this no doubt contributed to Heart getting their second goal on a swift counter attack.

 

Double substitution:

Normally I don’t go into tactical decisions like this but for mine this double switch was exactly what was needed and it changed the game for the better. The ineffective Nakajima-Farran and Murdocca made way for young pacey attackers Rocky Visconte and Kofi Danning. Both had an impact when they came on and looked far livelier than their replacements. Danning in particular created some nice moments for himself, but to go to the next level and get a starting spot he must get that final moment right as far too often the final cross/pass/shot is amiss. Visconte wasn’t as influential as Danning but it was nice to see the Grand Final hero back on the field following an extended layoff with injury.

 

2-1 and game on:

Just as it was beginning to look like it wasn’t the Roar’s night, Mitch Nichols was on the spot to give us all a glimmer of hope that something yet may be salvaged. The Olyroos midfielder beat Heart custodian Clint Bolton and a defender –think it was Madaschi, could be wrong) and poke in the rebound following a Kofi Danning cross from the right side. Wasn’t the best of goals but they all count and you have to be there to take the chance.

 

Frantic finale:

That goal was just the boost the boys needed as they surged on in search of an equaliser in the final ten minutes and the best chance fell to Erik Paartalu who from a not dissimilar position to his epic Grand Final goal headed narrowly wide of Bolton’s goal following a good ball in from Berisha. The final minutes were also notable for the disgraceful time wasting tactics employed by the Heart. Imo if the referee had of just booked Bolton for wasting so much time on the goal kicks the play would have moved on earlier but he chose not to for whatever reason. Without wanting to cast dispersions on people the tactics shown by the Heart are not dissimilar to those employed against the Socceroos in their Asian WCQ campaign, and perhaps its something Brisbane Roar and us fans could become accustomed to next year in the ACL.

 

Brisbane Roar 1 (Mitch NICHOLS 78’)
Melbourne Heart 2 (Jonatan GERMANO 11’, Eli BABALJ 27’)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee:
Kris Griffiths-Jones
Crowd: 10, 666

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Matt JURMAN, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (9. Kofi DANNING 65’), 11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN (14. Rocky VISCONTE 65’, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 24. Nick FITZGERALD

Substitutes (not used): 16. Mohamed ADNAN, 30. Matthew ACTON (gk)

Yellow cards: Massimo MURDOCCA 23’, Matt JURMAN 89’

Red cards: Nil

Melbourne Heart: 1. Clint BOLTON, 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Brendan HAMILL, 5. FRED, 6. Mayy THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM (9. MAYCON 74’), 13. Jonatan GERMANO (18. Curtis GOOD 79’), 16. Aziz BEHICH, 19. Eli BABALJ (17. Jason HOFFMAN 61’), 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 25. Adrian MADASCHI

Substitutes (not used): 30. Sebastian MATTEI

Yellow cards: Jonatan GERMANO 12’, Rutger WORM 20’, Michael MARRONE 79’

Red cards: Nil

 

Player ratings:

Brisbane:

Theoklitos 6, Franjic 6, Smith, 6, Jurman 6, Stefanutto 6, Paartalu 6, Murdocca 6, Nichols 7, Nakajima- Farran 5, Berisha 6, Fitzgerald 6, Danning 6, Visconte 6.

 

Melbourne:

Bolton 6, Marrone 6, Madaschi 6, Hamill 6, Behich 6, Fred 6, Thompson 6, Germano 7, Dugandzic 6, Babalj 8, Maycon 6, Hoffman 6, Good 6.

 

Up next for Brisbane: Welllington in Dunedin for the community round fixture, Wednesday afternoon Brisbane time.

 

Coaches comments:

“The first half wasn’t great,” he said.

“We gave the ball away too much and the way we play our game, if we give the ball away too much not only does it mean we don’t create much but it gives the opposition opportunities.

“They took their goals and our second half was better, we pushed on and dominated the game like usually do but couldn’t get the second goal and we fell short.”

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