W-League Grand Final Preview: Brisbane Roar vs Canberra United

 

Westfield W-League 2012 Grand Final
Canberra United v Brisbane Roar
Date: Saturday 28 January 2012
Venue: McKellar Stadium – Canberra
Kick Off: 3:00pm (EDST)
Gates Open: 2:00pm (EDST)

The match will be shown live on ABC at 2.50pm. (1 hour delay in Queensland)

Westfield W-League Grand Final squads:

Canberra United squad: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 4. Christine WALTERS, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Hayley RASO, 9. Grace GILL, 10. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Sally SHIPARD, 17. Emma KETE, 18. Taryn HEMMINGS, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Aroon CLANSEY
* Three to be omitted
In: None
Out: None
Unavailable: Kahlia HOGG (overseas – USA Scholarship), Leah BLAYNEY (injured – knee)

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Casey DUMONT (gk), 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Kim CARROLL, 9. Catherine CANNULI, 10. Lana HARCH, 11. Aivi LUIK, 13. Tameka BUTT, 14. Vedrana POPOVIC, 15. Sasha MCDONNELL, 16. Michaela HATZIRODOS, 17. Emily GIELNIK, 18. Olga CEBRIAN GARCIA, 19.Ellen BEAUMONT, 20. Hoshimi KISHI (gk), 21. Rebecca PRICE
* three to be omitted
In: None
Out: None
Unavailable: Elise Kellond-Knight (knee – season), Ashley Spina (knee – season)

 

Season form:

Brisbane: DBLWWWDWDBWWD

Canberra: WWWWWWDDWDWBW

*B= Bye

 

Season record vs. Canberra United:

Round 7: Brisbane Roar 2-2 Canberra United

 

Top scorers:

Brisbane: Emily Gielnik (8)

Canberra: Michelle Heyman (13)

 

Brisbane Roar in W-League Finals:

Played 7: Won 3, Drawn 3, Lost 1 (3-0 in penalty shoot-outs)

 

2008/2009 Semi-final: Brisbane Roar 1-1 (5-4) Sydney FC

2008/2009 Grand final: Brisbane Roar 2-0 Canberra United

2009/10 Semi-final: Central Coast Mariners 0-1 Brisbane Roar

2009/10 Grand final: Sydney FC 2-1 Brisbane Roar

2010/11 Semi-final: Brisbane Roar 2-2 (4-2) Canberra United

2010/11 Grand final: Sydney FC 1-2 Brisbane Roar

2011/12 Semi- final: Brisbane Roar 1-1 (4-3) Sydney FC

 

Best of luck to the girls, bring the trophy home. We’ll be providing live updates from 2.00pm on our facebook page  (www.facebook.com/theroarreview), however due to the 1 hour delay on ABC’s TV coverage, it wont be in sync with the TV so if you plan on watching the game on delay, it might be best to avoid social media tomorrow.

 


Match Preview: Brisbane Roar vs Newcastle Jets

 

Saturday, 28 January 2012
Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets

Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Local kick-off: 6:45pm (7:45pm AEDT)

Referees: Ben Williams / Dennis Silk / Brad Hobson / Alan Milliner

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 20): Brisbane Roar wins 7, Newcastle Jets wins 7 (6 draws)

TV broadcast: Fox Sports1

 

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith (C), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 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. Rocky Visconte, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald
*two to be omitted*

In: 9. Kofi Danning (promoted), 18. Luke Brattan (promoted), 24. Nick Fitzgerald (promoted)
Out: 7. Besart Berisha (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 19. Jack Hingert (ankle injury – 1 week)

 

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Taylor Regan, 4. Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5. Tiago Calvano, 6. Ben Kantarovski, 8. Jeremy Brockie, 9. Michael Bridges, 10. Ruben Zadkovich, 11. Tarek Elrich, 12. Jobe Wheelhouse, 13. Byun, 14.

Labinot Haliti, 17. James Virgili, 18. Marko Jesic, 19. Matthew Nash (gk), 21. Francis Jeffers, 23. Ryan Griffiths, 25. Jacob Pepper
*three to be omitted*

In: 13. Byun, 25. Jacob Pepper, 17. James Virgili (all promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: 22. Ali Abbas

 

Startling Line-ups:

 

Substitutes:

Brisbane: Redmayne, Jurman, Nakajima-Farran, Meyer

Omitted: Brattan, Visconte, Danning

 

Newcastle: Nash, Wheelhouse, Haliti, Bridges

Omitted: Calvano, Virgili, Jeffers

 

Brisbane:

While we know that Besart Berisha will be missing this match due to suspension, there is still some conjecture about who will be the man to replace the Albanian sharpshooter. On Thursday Brisbane Times reported that Thomas Broich was going to be the man to step into the role, as some sort of a Deep lying striker/ False #10. However today Marco from the CM reported that either Nick Fitzgerald or James Meyer will be fighting for the role playing what would be a more natural strikers role.

 

Of the two, Meyer would seem to make the most sense as a starter due to experience ect, however for some reason I can see Fitzgerald being the man getting the starting job and imo he would do a fantastic job in the role, as shown by his strong pre-season form in the role. I also think that Meyer would be more likely to make a contribution off the bench. There’s no question in my mind also that fitness permitting Visconte, Brattan and Danning will be the trio missing out on selection for this match, with Marco also speculating that Issey will keep his spot in the 15, despite his ordinary form of late.

 

Newcastle:

Newcastle, im speculating a bit myself, and the formation I posted is more about what id do if I were them than anything else, The back 4 and goalkeeper seem solid enough with Regan stepping in of late doing a good job and keeping Calvano out in the process. The midfield is one area I could be wrong on, but for mine Pepper and Kantarovski have been playing well in the role recently and deserve the opportunity, although Wheelhouse is a solid option.  Wide left is another area im guessing in more or less, Jesic is a play I like and think has potential, but im not sure if he’ll get the start out there. It could be that Ryan Griffiths plays as an attacking left winger supporting Brockie and Bridges upfront with Zadkovich playing more conservatively in almost a 4-3-3.

 

Season form:

Brisbane: WWWWDDWWLLLLLWDDWD

Newcastle: WLWLWLLDWLLLDWLDLD

 

Season record vs. Newcastle Jets:

Round 7: Newcastle Jets (Griffiths 44’) 1-2 Brisbane Roar (Henrique 58’, Meyer 82’)

 

Top scorers:

Brisbane: Besart Berisha (11)

Newcastle: Ryan Griffiths (7)

 

Assists:

Brisbane: Thomas Broich (5)

Newcastle: Ryan Griffiths (3)

 

All-time record against Newcastle Jets:

Played 20: Won 7, Drawn 6, Lost 7.

 

At Suncorp Stadium:

Played 9: Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 6

 

Keys to the game:

Brisbane:

Defense! Think defense lads. At the back the sloppy goals have to stop, I think someone mentioned today on twitter that Brisbane have conceded the 1st goal for the last 8 matches or something. I think there’s only been 4 clean sheets as well which isn’t good enough, so come on guys cut out the small defensive errors and keep a clean sheet.

 

In attack, its quite clear that there are goals in the side.  Even without Berisha missing, there’s still Fitzgerald, Issey, Nichols, Broich, Meyer and Henrique so im very confident that we’ll score some goals tomorrow night, its just keeping them out at the other end. The Jets haven’t been in the greatest form of late and with the CCM game postponed here’s a chance for the Roar to close the gap before next week’s showdown.

 

Newcastle:

As I mentioned the jets haven’t played all that well of late, and imo that’s mostly due to some tinkering done by Van Egmond to formation and tactics as he tries to find the best system to suit his philosophy of play with this squad. In the 1st match against them this season Van Egmond played an attacking 3-4-3 system based on possession and pressure high up the park and it worked extremely well for them, until Kennedy went off. The net affect of their system was they had the extra man in midfield which made it tough for Brisbane too play. I suspect they’ll play in a similar way tomorrow night in regards to possession and pressure, I don’t however see them playing 3 at the back tomorrow night.

 

In terms of danger men Ryan Griffiths is their talisman and best player by far, contributing 7 goals and 3 assists so far this season. Bridges has also shown some glimpses of quality this season since his retirement and the defence is solid, however they aren’t the best squad and this is a game Brisbane should win, and win well.

 

 


AFC regulations

 

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve heard a bit about AFC regulations for the Champions League and what has to be done, so I thought Id investigate a little and see what the deal is. All of this information is available under the resources section of the AFC website, infact there’s a multitude of long winded PDF files you can download and read if your desperate, some of them relevant, others not.

 

Playing squad:

–          -Minimum squad size of 18, maximum of 30

–          3 foreigners from nations outside of the AFC

–          1 foreigner from inside the AFC, who is considered a local player.

–          Clubs must register 3 goalkeepers

–          Up to 1 week before the 1st match of the competition, up to 3 changes to the squad can be made, if a player in the 30 man squad gets injured

–          Up to a week prior to the 1st match, up to 5 players can be added to the squad, provided that doesn’t exceed the maximum of 30 players.

Official party:

–          Each club can select 18 players + 11 staff members to make up their official delegation for away matches, who will have their accommodation and the like taken care of by the hosting team.

–          15 officials can be selected to gain access to team hotel, training ground, ect ect.

–          However only 11 of those 15 will be able to sit on the bench. 3 of those must be the team manager, head coach and the team media officer.

–          The other 8 can be anything you want including but not limited to: Assistant Coaches, Goalkeeping Coach, Doctor, Physio, Interpreter, Sports Trainer or Equipment Manager.

 

Travelling regulations:

–          Teams must arrive 2 days prior to an away match and stay in a hotel arranged for them by the Host club.

–          Travel subsidy of 30,000 per away trip, payable only after match days 2, 4 and 6 if the club meets the requirements.

–          Host club is required to provide hotels, training facilities, transportation and meals for the travelling club, and AFC officials.

–          Both teams are permitted one training session on the field the day prior to the match of 1 hour, and the media is entitled to attend the 1st 15 minutes of that session.

 

Prize Money:

(All figures in USD)

–          Group stage victories: 40,000

–          Group stage draw: 20,000

–          Round of 16: 50,000

–          Quarter final: 80,000

–          Semi final: 120,000

–          Runner up: 750,000

–          Champion: 1,500,000 (+ the right to compete in the 2012 Fifa Club World Cup)

Kit:

–          The following items have to be approved: 1st kit, reserve kit, GK kit, training kits, GK gloves, GK cap, captain’s armband, team polo shirts and substitute bibs.

–          Reserve kit must be different to the 1st kit (obviously)

–          Kits must have no more than 4 different colours on them

–          Thermal shorts (skins) must be the same colour as team shorts

–          GK colours must radically different to both teams outfield kits

–          GK’s must wear the same colour jersey throughout the competition, backup keepers included

–          Player’s numbers must be displayed on the front and back of each shirt, and on the front of the shorts.

–          AFC will provide 2 armbands of differing colours to be used during the competition

Finally, I found this Urawa Reds kit that shows how the AFC regulations regarding kits work, where sponsors, logo’s ect need to be.

 


ACL Match Schedule and the run into the finals.

 

Just after the draw was released I wrote a blog regarding this topic, but the specific dates of the ACL games were unknown at the time. Since then the AFC have gone and announced the specific dates of matches, so I’ve decided to revisit the idea. Tomorrow I’ll also have a blog regarding the AFC regulations, and how right now the Brisbane ACL squad might look.

  

Friday March 2: Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne Heart

Tuesday March 06: Brisbane Roar vs. FC Tokyo

Sunday March 11: Brisbane Roar vs. Adelaide United

 

This is just about ideal really, 3 days between the 1st and 2nd game, and 4 days between the 2nd and 3rd game, and they’re all home games, nice easy way into the Asian campaign, and no different to having 3 A-League games in the week

 

Saturday March 17: Newcastle Jets vs. Brisbane Roar

Tuesday March 20: Beijing vs. Brisbane Roar

Sunday March 25: Gold Coast United vs. Brisbane Roar

 

This was looking near impossible to do given AFC’s regulations regarding travel to matches (more on AFC regulations tomorrow), but since the Jets game was brought forward 24 hours it’s now feasible to travel to the match. The Jets don’t like it because of their ‘big weekend festival of sport’, but that’s the breaks, deal with it. Having only 48 hours turnaround will make the Beijing match tough, but the GC game should be no problem with 5 days between the games.

 

Weekend of March 31: Hyundai A-League Finals week 1

Wednesday April 04: Ulsan vs. Brisbane

Weekend of April 7: Hyundai A-League Finals week 2

 

There is still a fair amount of unknown from here on out, but as it stands Brisbane would host the Mariners on the Saturday night, then have 3 days for before the Ulsan game which is fine. Then another 3 days between the Ulsan match and the 2nd leg of the semi-final which would be in Gosford. Given all the travel between the two legs, it would be advantageous for the Roar to put the tie to bed in the 1st leg with a 2 or 3 goal victory.

 

Weekend of April 14: Hyundai A-League Finals week 3

Tuesday April 17 2012: Brisbane vs. Ulsan

Weekend of April 21: Hyundai A-League Finals week 4

 

This is more or less the same as match day 1. In the best case scenario Finals week 3 is irrelevant for Brisbane, with a home game midweek before a home game on the weekend. In what seems right now to be the worst case scenario, they’ll be hosting a home preliminary final on the Saturday night, then home to Ulsan midweek before going down to Sydney to face off with the Mariners, who would be coming back from a game in Korea. The extreme worst case scenario is that Brisbane aren’t in this phase of the finals, meaning sole focus on the Ulsan match.

 

Wednesday May 02 2012: FC Tokyo vs. Brisbane

Wednesday May 16 2012: Brisbane vs. Beijing

 

These two are quiet easy to prepare for in the sense that they could fly to Japan on the 22nd of April should they choose to –assuming they make the Grand Final- so there’s no dramas there. They may also choose to schedule a match with a local side on Wed May 9 to keep the players fitness ticking over.


Olyroos selection

 

With the Australian U23s squad set to be announced tomorrow, we thought we’d give you the chance to imagine you are in the coach’s chair for the evening. Who would you select in light of the recent announcement that the squad will be limited to three players per club?

 

Firstly, for the sake of this im not particularly interested in the Olyroos or their qualification campaign, so the majority of this discussion will be focused on the Brisbane Roar u/23 players, and which ones could potentially be selected.

 

So which Brisbane players could Vidmar select? Well, here are the names in no particular order.

 

Andrew Redmayne

Kofi Danning

Matt Jurman

Mitch Nichols

Jack Hingert

Rocky Visconte

Luke Brattan

 

Who will be selected thou? Well imo that’s largely dependant on who he picks from other clubs. For example- if Aurelio decides to pick Matt Ryan as his GK, he really has no reason to pick Redmayne.

 

Mitch Nichols is the obvious choice here to be selected into the squad, the team has from all reports been built around the midfielder and his goal scoring so it makes sense to pick him in the side. His form has dipped slightly in recent weeks –arguably since his last Olyroos commitments- but he’s still more than good enough to be in there. The other two spots could go any number of ways, but I have a feeling that Jurman and Danning will be the players Aurelio picks, simply because they’ve featured in the campaign and have considerable experience in junior national teams.

 

My prediction on who will be selected:

–          Mitch Nichols

–          Matthew Jurman

–          Kofi Danning

 

So now that I’ve guestimated who Brisbane’s 3 losses could be, here’s a rather pointless exercise of guessing a squad for these matches by only selecting 3 players per A-League club. Remember because FFA are spineless and won’t ask for any Euro boys, they’re off the selection table.

 

Here’s my selection of players from the A-League, using the FFA’s 3 player per club mandate.

 

Adelaide: Daniel Mullen (Def), Mark Birighitti (GK)

Brisbane: Matthew Jurman (Def), Mitch Nichols (Mid), Kofi Danning (Fwd)

Central Coast: Matt Ryan (GK), Oliver Bozanic (Mid), Bernie Ibini-Isei (Fwd)

Gold Coast: Ben Halloran (Mid), James Brown (Mid), Jerrad Tyson (GK)

Melbourne H: Aziz Behich (Def), Eli Babalj (Fwd), Mate Dugandzic (Fwd)

Melbourne V: Matthew Foschini (Def), Diogo Ferreira (Def/Mid), Petar Franjic (Def)

Newcastle: Ben Kantarovski (Mid), Taylor Regan (Def)

Perth: Adam Taggart (Fwd)

Sydney FC: Dimitri Petratos (Fwd), Terry Antonis (Mid), Sebastian Ryall (Def)

 

Obviously the biggest name left out is Mustafa Amini, but I just felt that the other three had to be selected. Matt Ryan is a total no brainer given his terrific form, Oliver Bozanic is the Olyroos captain so it’s hard to see him being omitted and then it was a choice between Amini and Ibini. While both had good cases, I just went for Ibini due to his goal scoring threat, which is something this Olyroos side lacks right now.

 

So with that selection of players, here’s the starting XI I came up with:

 

 

Substitutes: Birighitti, Mullen, Franjic, Antonis, Brown, Taggart, Ibini-Isei

 

Rest of the squad: Tyson, Regan, Ferreira, Danning, Petratos


Goalkeeping situation:

 

Im sure everyone is aware by now that Brisbane backup goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne is leaving the club in search of 1st team football. His destination- Melbourne Heart, on a two year contract. It’s hard to begrudge the guy this move in all truth, he moved here from the Mariners in search of 1st team football, but that idea was scuttled when Brisbane swooped in to sign Michael Theoklitos when his unhappy stint at Norwich ended.

 

It’s not really that difficult to pick his greatest moment in Brisbane colours, because he made only 1 appearance (thus far anyway) in the Orange, that faithful night at Suncorp when we beat GCU 4-0. Miron called it ‘insulting and rubbing it in’, but I disagree. He got a rousing reception from the entire crowd and proceeded to keep a clean sheet in his 10 minute cameo. Other than that his appearances have all be in either Youth team matches, or preseason hit outs. In youth team football he shared time with Brisbane’s youth keeper Matt Acton, where he made some quality and important saves for the NYL team. It’s fitting and just as well that before he decided to leave, he at least got the chance to play a game at Suncorp in the NYL where he made some good saves and a clean sheet.

 

Now the question is, how should we replace Redmayne –or Bourbon as some fans called him-? Well, there are two ways up which to replace the Melbourne bound keeper either promote a keeper from the NYL, or look outside of the club for an external, more experienced option.

 

 

If they are to promote a keeper from the NYL, it would surely have to be Matt Acton, Eccles just doesn’t have the experience to even come close to being in the competition for the job. Acton, now 20 has been Brisbane Roar’s NYL keeper from the very beginning basically and over the course of his 4 years in the youth team has developed into a solid keeper, culminating in some young Socceroo call-ups, and the occasional bench spot in the A-League. It’s unlikely he would stick around in the NYL again next season despite being eligible -I think-, so its 1st team or bust, at least it should be, and imo he will be backing up Theoklitos next season.

 

Looking at the external options coming off contract around the league, I just don’t see which of them make any sense for Brisbane Roar next season and beyond. Keep in mind that unless something happens to Theo, he will be the #1 next season, and the other keeper will more or less be backing him up. Taking a quick look at the names available, there isn’t a lot out there:

 

Glen Moss

Clint Bolton

Ante Covic

Matt Nash

Mark Paston

Tony Warner

 

Finally- how should Redmayne’s decision to leave the club affect what they are doing moving forward?

 

In terms of the Asian Champions League its completely irrelevant, 3 keepers will be selected for the competition, those will be Theoklitos, Redmayne and Acton. They are the best 3 keepers at the club and should be selected. Redmayne isn’t due to move until after the round of 16 so that’s a non issue.

 

For the backup keepers role on the bench im a believer in picking your best players where possible, and to that end imo its right to keep picking Redmayne in that role to back up Theoklitos. Let Acton hang around and be apart of the experience –especially in Asia-, but come decision time Redmayne should be the man on the bench covering Theoklitos, and if something were to happen to Theo, Redmayne should be the man stepping in.

 

In relation to the NYL, it is my belief that Brisbane should play Acton every single week in this competition, in order for him to gain the necessary experience to help make his transition to the 1st team smoother. It’s nothing against Redmayne, imo it’s just smarter for the club to develop the guy sticking with the club long term, than the guy who will be opposing you in the future (NYL is all about development, not results after all). There isn’t really a big difference in talent between the two in truth either, the biggest difference would be the experience Redmayne has gained via national team selection including a u/20 WC in 2009.


Roar- Heart share the spoils in Melbourne.

Melbourne Heart 1 (Germano 31’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Berisha 70’)
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Venue:
AAMI Park
Referee: Chris Beath

Brisbane extended their unbeaten run to 5 matches last night, but they did it the hard way coming from behind yet again to earn a point. Once again it was Berisha who was in the right spot to earn the draw for the Roar, with German Thomas Broich making his 1st start since November. James Meyer also had his 1st appearance since injury. This was also the 9th consecutive game without a clean sheet, something that no doubt has to be corrected before the Jets game next weekend.

Starting Line-ups:

Substitutions:

Brisbane: Henrique for Nakajima-Farran (46’), Meyer for Paartalu (61’), Jurman for Broich (84’)

Unused subs: Redmayne

Omitted: Hingert, Brattan, Danning

 

Melbourne: Williams for Babalj (73’), Colosimo for Hamill (82’), Worm for Sarkies (87’)

Unused subs: Mattei

Omitted: Hoffman, Maycon

 

Heart pressing:

There was some speculation from the Fox Sports crew that Heart were going to line-up in some sort of a 4-4-2 formation in order to combat the Roars midfield strength, and to pressure them from the back. The pressure came nominally from Terra and Behich who pressed up on the centre backs. Dugandzic was also required to pressure Paartalu and keep him off the ball –Rudan went into this on ‘fox field’ after the game if you IQ’ed- and he did a fairly decent job in combating Erik’s forward passing.

 

So with Heart pressuring the centre backs and Paartalu, the burden of bringing the ball out of defence for often than not fell with Massimo Murdocca, who played probably his best game of the season. His quick play on the ball created the holes in the Heart press for his teammates to exploit, and because MH had committed so many men forward there was space in behind for the attackers on the counter attack. It wasn’t just in bringing the ball out however that Mass was good, he was also very effective in more attacking situations by keeping the tempo up and creating options for people- and himself. If only he could shoot…

 

Brisbane possession:

Brisbane dominated the possession 59-41 over the 90 minutes, but id wager the majority of that possession was in the middle or defensive thirds, with a lot more sideways and backwards passing than usual, at least it seemed that way. When they did get into the attacking third, the most positive sign was that Broich was sharp and able to make clever runs both with and without the ball. The service from the wide areas was by and large poor and coming from the right hand side. After the penalty with 10 mins remaining in the 1st half, Brisbane had probably their best period of the match where they created 5 chances in about 3 minutes with shot after shot raining down on Bolton. Just about all were straight at the keeper thou.

 

Germano opens the scoring:

This goal actually came about via a 2nd ball from a Heart set piece. Sarkies free kick into the box was half cleared to the left hand side and picked up by Behich, who had Berisha marking him. Similar to last week Berisha let his man get past him –last week it was Beauchamp- and gets a cross into the box. From there it’s all just down to slack marking and ball watching from certain players. Germano is free on the edge of the 6 yard box while 2 or 3 players stand on the edge of the 18 yard box, why are none of them tracking the Argentine? There’s nothing special about his goal, but that’s 2 in 2 against Brisbane for Germano.

 

2nd half midfield alteration:

In the 2nd half Ange really went for it with his substitutions, bringing on Henrique for Issey in the 46th, and Meyer for Paartalu in the 61st, which were clear signals of intent. The changes meant that Murdocca was to cover the Paartalu role in midfield, although in a slightly more advanced position, Broich moved more centrally and was given license to float, Henrique shifted to the left and Meyer played his usual right hand side role. Nichols and Berisha had the same function in the system. The biggest change was getting Broich more central, and into areas where he could have a bigger impact on the game which culminated with the goal.

 

Besart grabs the equaliser:

Brisbane grabbed a deserved equaliser with 20 minutes remaining when they finally got some penetration from a wide area through Franjic. It as Broich who predictably was the man to create the opening, drawing two players before playing the ball square across the box to Meyer. From there it was all relatively simple: Meyer played Franjic in behind –although he nearly over hit the pass- Franjic crossed it in, the ball wasn’t cleared by Heart and Besart the poacher extraordinaire was there to tap home from all of 2 yards.

 

Player ratings:

Brisbane: Theoklitos 6, Smith 6,  Adnan 7, Stefanutto 6, Paartalu 6, Murdocca 8, Nichols 6, Issey 6, Broich 7, Berisha 7, Henrique 7, Jurman 6, Meyer 6.

 

Melbourne: Bolton 6, Marrone 6, Good 7, Hamill 7, Behich 8, Germano 7, Thompson 6, Sarkies 6, Dugandzic 7, Terra 7, Babalj 7, Williams 6, Colosimo 6, Worm 6.

 

Stats:

 

Coaches comments:

“You always want to win games so you’re never pleased to come away with anything less than that,” Postecoglou said.

“It was a cracking game, I thought both teams had some really bright moments.

“I thought we probably did enough to win the game but at the same time they also had some opportunities so in the end I thought a draw was a fair result.”