Roar- Heart share the spoils in Melbourne.

Melbourne Heart 1 (Germano 31’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Berisha 70’)
Saturday, 21 January 2012
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:


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.




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.”


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