Roar break losing streak to end 2011 in style


The perfect end to the perfect year? 2011 was a special year for us Roar fans, and if the display on Dec 31, 2011 is anything to go by, then 2012 could also bring with it some success as well. Brisbane may have changed their tactical setup, but Postecoglou stuck to his guns and played the same brand of short passing and possession football we’ve become accustomed to, and this time the result was there as well.


Starting Lineups:



Brisbane: Murdocca for Nichols (55’), Nakajima- Farran for Brattan (69’), Hingert for Stefanutto (80’)

Melbourne Victory: Brebner for Ferreira (64’), Allsopp for Hernandez (64’) Cernak for Celeski (76’)


Tactical change:

As im sure most people realised Ange changed the starting formation from a 4-3-3 to a 3-5-2 as Marco called it, but in reality it was more of a 3-6- 1  or 3-4-3, but what did the change mean? Having Jurman and Adnan flanking Smith at the back assisted with playing out from the back and also provided extra cover at the back to snuff out the counter attacking opportunities Victory took advantage of last time. In the wider areas Franjic and Stefanutto were somewhat relieved of their defensive duties and given more license to play almost as wingers, and I thought they both did a good job at it. Stefanutto tired late on with having to run up and down but Franjic was fantastic in that role and capped it off with a very tidy goal.


Brattan in the middle of the midfield next to Paartalu meant more control of the ball in possession and provided more options in playing out from the back. The good thing about the play of them in midfield is that they both just didn’t sit deep and play passes, one of them would make an effort to get forward and support the attack. Nichols and Visconte played more or less the same roles they’ve been playing lately although they had more space to work with and work in with the wingers of the former system no longer there. Berisha’s role was more or less exactly the same as in the 4-3-3 system.


Early Victory goal:

Im sure everyone was thinking ‘oh here we go again’ when Harry Kewell gave Melbourne an early lead, his 1st goal in the competition from general play. The goal itself was well taken by Harry who took advantage of the space in the wide areas before his shot nestled in the bottom corner just inside the far post.


Brisbane dominance:

Despite the early goal, there were no signs that Brisbane were going to continue their profligacy in the final third with Berisha hitting the bar and Stefanutto blazing over from 6 yards within 2minutes of the goal. But Brisbane also dominated possession of the ball and created the line share of chances- eg. Nichols shot- and the change to two holding/defensive/controlling midfielders defiantly helped with this. Im not certain the change in formation caused this but that sharpness which had previously been missing in the final third was back last night, there was more movement off the ball, more passing options created and the final pass found its mark more often.


Nichols equalises:

Right on the stroke of half time Brisbane got reward for their territorial and possession dominance when a ball in from the right side made its way all  the way out to Shane Stefanutto on the left hand side. Stefanutto proceeded to clip a delightful cross back to the penalty spot where the onrushing Mitch Nichols met the ball with a diving header sending the ball back in the direction it came and into the net.


Bright second half opening:

Five minutes into the second half Brisbane took the lead when an attack down the left hand side ended with Besart Berisha playing the onrushing Rocky Visconte in behind the defence before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Great play, Beautiful finish. A little fact- that was Rocky’s 1st goal at Suncorp Stadium and only his 2nd goal for Brisbane Roar.


Franjic provides some insurance:

If a 2-1 score line was worrying some, they needn’t bothered because Brisbane put the game out of reach as a contest just 3minutes later when another flowing move, this time down the right, which resulted in Ivan Franjic being played in to score. Franjic slotted the ball home expertly –not bad for a defender- and jumped the fence to celebrate with the fans. As Brenton Speed said ‘this is the Brisbane Roar we’ve come to love’.


Late Melbourne pressure:

Despite the fact that for large periods of the game Victory were basically out of the content and creating virtually nothing, they did manage to create a few opportunities late on, thru their duo of marquee players- Harry Kewell and Archie Thompson. Kewell completely wasted his- one of which missed low and to the near post, the other was high and wide on the far post, guess that’s why they’re paying him 1mil+ a season 😉 . Thompson for his part at least forced a save out of Theoklitos, but also spurned a chance at the near post.


Brisbane Roar 3 (Mitch NICHOLS 44’, Rocky VISCONTE 50’, Ivan FRANJIC 53’)

Melbourne Victory 1(Harry KEWELL 3’)

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Suncorp Stadium,

Brisbane Referee: Jarred Gillett

Crowd: 14, 852

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO (19. Jack HINGERT 80’), 4. Matt JURMAN, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 16. Mohamed ADNAN, 17. Mitch NICHOLS (8. Massimo MURDOCCA 55’), 18. Luke BRATTAN (11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN 69’)

Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)

Yellow cards: Mohamed ADNAN 33’

Red cards:  Nil

Melbourne Victory: 2. Matthew FOSCHINI, 3. FABIO, 4. Petar FRANJIC, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 10. Archie THOMPSON (c), 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 13. Diego FERREIRA (8. Grant BREBNER 64’), 14. Billy CELESKI (19. Isaka CERNAK 76’), 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ (18. Daniel ALLSOPP 64’), 21. Ante COVIC (gk), 22. Harry KEWELL

Substitutes not used: 20. Lawrence THOMAS (gk)

Yellow cards: Rodrigo VARGAS 20’, Billy CELESKI 44’, Daniel ALLSOPP 78’

Red cards: Nil


Player ratings:

Brisbane: Theoklitos 6, Jurman, Smith 7, Adnan 8, Franjic 9, Stefanutto, 7 Paartalu 7, Brattan 8, Nichols 8, Visconte 7, Berisha 7, Hingert, Murdocca 6, Nakajima-Farran.


Melbourne Victory: Covic 6, Foschini 6, Vargas 6, Franjic 6, Fabio 6, Broxham, Ferreira 6, Celeski 6, Hernandez 6, Kewell 7, Thompson 6, Brebner 6, Cernak 6, Allsopp 6.


Coaches comments:


“It was great to win, for sure, and you feel good about that and it’s good to see some smiles on peoples’ faces,” Postecoglou said.

“It’s been a tough, little grind this one but it’s just a good way to end the year because it’s been a great year for us.

“I’m really proud of the players, they played good football, scored some goals and that’s the kind of team we want to be.”







“We adjusted things a little bit, but the key  thing was we didn’t change the way we played,” he said.

“We still knocked it  around, we kept position and we were a lot more threatening tonight than  we have been over the last few weeks. The boys are determined to get it  right.

“Ivan was immense – he really got in behind them. We really looked a more threatening team and that was a big factor.

“He was really good. We changed his role a little bit and told him to take the game to the opposition.”



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