Roar slump to 3 consequative defeats on disappointing day in Dunedin.


Well Brisbane’s recent run of poor performances continued today across the Tasman in Dunedin with the Roar falling to their third successive defeat following their unprecedented 36 game unbeaten run. Goals from Paul Ifill and Nicky Ward gave the ‘hosts’ a 2-0 victory and moved them into a finals position. The last time Brisbane Roar lost 3 games in a row was in the 2009/10 season, when the lost 5-1 to GCU, 3-1 to Wellington and 2-0 to Newcastle.


Starting Lineups:


Brisbane: Danning for Murdocca (64’), Fitzgerald for Nakajima-Farran (77’), Hingert for Visconte (77’)


Wellington: Smith for Ifill (81’)


Ange rings the changes:

In a somewhat surprising move and one that saw him deviate from his usual philosophy of sticking with players, Postecoglou made three changes to his side from the Friday match. Ok the defensive one was forced upon him by injury but the other two he made were clear tactical decisions and a clear sign he wanted improvement. In came Kofi Danning and Rocky Visconte who were making their 1st ever starts in orange and it has to be said that neither did particularly well.


Early Brisbane pressure:

The early phases of the game showed no signs of Brisbane doubting themselves as they continually passed the ball around very well and pressed high up the pitch and created some half chances/ openings that they just couldn’t take advantage of. Berisha and Visconte were most wasteful as Berisha slightly overran one pass and Visconte scuffed a shot that rolled well wide. But there were signs that the Brisbane of old was back at hat point.


Pressing high up the pitch:

One of the main things that Ange has really instilled in the side since he took over is to defend from the front and to press high up the park. Below is a fantastic example of how they go about that from a throw in taken by the opposition in their half of the pitch. The pressure results in the play being forced back to the defender who has to hit the ball forward and more often than not turn it back to Brisbane. In the example below its Danning, Berisha and Nichols providing the pressure. Berisha begins the pressure by closing down the corner, Nichols continues it which forces the pass back to Sigmund and it’s Berisha, Nichols and Danning closing down on the two centre halves forcing the long clearence.



Wellington’s tactics:

Much like they did at Suncorp last month Wellington sat back in their own half and were more than happy to let Brisbane dictate the play in their own half and up to 10m inside the Wellington half of the pitch. It was at that point they had two lines of 4 across the park with little space between them in order to crowd out the Roar passing game. Ifill and Greenacre sat on or around the halfway line looking for opportunities to hit Brisbane on the counter attack. 

The counter attack was Wellington’s sole attacking weapon today and they got the ball foward as quickly as possible to try and uuse the pace of Paul Ifill, Leo Bertos and Nick Ward to get in behind the Brisbane defence which they managed to do far to often from the Brisbane perspective. This is where there two goals came from as well as the other chances they created.


Paul Ifill goal:

This goal was a perfect example of how Wellington set out to play this match, sit back and then counter at speed. The goal itself came from a period of play where Brisbane had comfortable possession inside the Wellington half and where they were setting up to launch an attack, however Erik Paartalu’s pass was cut out by Manny Muscat who pierced the offside trap with his pass to Paul Ifill. From there the Barbados international was 1 v 1 with the already booked Jurman with Adnan and others scrambling back to help out. Jurman for his part didn’t defend the situation all that well as he could have shepherded Ifill away from goal, instead his body positioning allowed Ifill to cut back inside. Ifill got some luck with a deflecting that deceived Theoklitos and it went top corner to the opposite side Ifill intended it to, 1-0 Phoenix.


Sloppy Brisbane passing:

Brisbane’s bid to get back into the match was not helped by their uncharacteristically sloppy passing- particularly from Sayed Mohammed Adnan and Matt Jurman who turned the ball over regularly when they stepped forward into midfield. They weren’t the only two guilty of this but they were the two biggest culprits as many of the midfielders also tuned the ball over far too often. The result of this was that it gave Wellington the opportunity to get the ball forward and try and sting the Roar on the counter once again.


Ineffective midfield:

This was the part of the field that Ange changed going into the match and upon reflection im not sure that it made any difference compared to Friday. Visconte and Danning got their chances in the side given their bright showings off the bench but they failed to have the same drive and impact today. On the whole there was a complete lack of penetration from midfield in the whole game, in fact I can’t really recall too many examples of a midfielder running beyond the defence and getting in behind the Phoenix. Is this purely because Broich is not there to pass it to them? Perhaps, but I don’t buy that argument really. Here’s hoping that at least one of Henrique and Broich are fit for the Mariners game because I think we’ll really need them against Central Coast.


Nicky Ward goal:

The second, and knockout blow, came after 81 minutes and once again it was a sloppy goal to concede. Ivan Franjic had the ball on the halfway line where he lost possession of the ball. Paul Ifill picked it up and despite being injured he played a delightful chip over the Brisbane defence into the path of the onrushing Nick Ward who took a touch before slotting home into the bottom corner of the net. This was another good illustration of how Wellington set about their game plan as they had 2 or 3 players pressuring Franjic to force the turnover and within five seconds they were clean through on goal.


Next up for Brisbane is the Grand Final rematch mkII as Central Coast bring some excellent form to Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.


Wellington Phoenix 2 (Paul Ifill 8’, Nick Ward 82’)
Brisbane Roar 0
Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Gerard Parsons
Crowd: 4628

Wellington Phoenix squad: 2. Manny Muscat, 4. Brent Griffiths 6. Tim Brown, 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill (24. Alex Smith 81’), 9. Chris Greenacre, 12. Nicky Ward, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 20 Tony Warner (GK), 22. Andrew Durante (c)

Substitutes not used: 1. Mark Paston (GK), 11. Daniel, 15. Cameron Lindsay

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 3. Shane Stefanutto (c), 4. Matt Jurman , 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 9. Kofi Danning (8. Massimo Murdocca 64’), 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran (24. Nick Fitzgerald 77’), 14. Rocky Visconte (19. Jack Hingert77’), 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols

Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK)

Yellow cards: Matt Jurman (8’), Mitch Nichols (80’)

Red cards: Nil


Player ratings:


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



Warner 6, Muscat 8, Sigmund 7, Durante 7, Griffiths 6, Ward 7, Lia 7, Brown 6, Bertos 7, Greenacre 6, Ifill 9, Smith 6.


Coaches comments:

“All along we’ve said we were about playing the game a certain way and we’re on that journey and we’ll continue on that journey wherever that takes us, good or bad,” Postecoglou said.

“I think things will turn around very quickly results-wise, but more important for us it’s just about being a better team and doing what we do better.

“I take total responsibility for the way we play and the way we approach things.

“It would have been very easy for us tonight, coming off the back of two losses, to play defensively, clear our lines and try to hold on for a draw.

“Everyone would be happy and saying we’ve turned it around, but it’s not what we’re about.

“We’ll keep doing what we’re doing because ultimately that’ll produce better players and make us a better team.

“It’s about us being the best team we can be.”



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