Brisbane climb into 2nd place on the ladder with dominated win in Wellington.

 

Its official- Brisbane is back! Back to back wins on the road over Central Coast and now Wellington and all of a sudden the Roar are back into the top 2. Goals from Berisha and Nichols were more than enough to win the game with Brisbane utterly dominant in possession. From being 11 behind in the hunt for the Premiers Plate two weeks ago, Brisbane now lie just 5 points behind the Mariners- although they do have a game in hand.

 

Wellington Phoenix: 0
Brisbane Roar: 2 (Berisha 40, Nichols 80’)

Venue: Westpac Stadium
Referees: Jared Gillett

 

Starting Line-ups:

 

 

Substitutes:

 

Brisbane: Nichols for Fitzgerald (63’), Meyer for Henrique (68’)

Unused Subs: Redmayne, Mundy

 

Wellington: Daniel for Bertos (63’), Pavlovic for Sigmund (78’)

Unused Subs:  Downey, Warner

Omitted: Brent Griffiths

 

Brisbane opened the scoring with 5 minutes remaining in the 1st half, and it wasn’t the typical Brisbane Roar goal. Paartalu had comfortable possession at the halfway line and opted to play a long pass (not a long ball) to Berisha, who took it 1st time expertly. Without wanting to give too much credit to Craig Foster, he made a good point about this goal on TWG earlier. For those who missed it, basically is point was that it was a clever pass because Wellington had began to press the Roar, so Paartalu played a more direct pass to Berisha who was in behind –and possibly offside-. This isn’t the 1st time such a goal has been scored this season. I recall a goal from Issey at home against Perth from a direct pass and also against Perth Paartalu linked up with Nichols to make it 3-2 in that match.

 

Brisbane’s second goal was a classic counter attack and it was brilliantly executed by Nichols who had multiple involvements in the move before the goal. Wellington had just switched to a back 3 of Lia-Durante-Lochhead due to the injury to Sigmund and they had overcommitted in the chase for an equaliser. In the attack in question, the diagram below shows Brisbane had 6 attacking players in the move compared to 4 Phoenix defenders, which shows that Wellington had finally come out from the conservative tactics and Brisbane punished them for it.

 

 

The key to the victory for Brisbane was that they maintained almost complete dominance of possession, but instead of having it in the defensive half; they had complete territorial dominance as well. I don’t have the 1st half possession/territory stats on hand but they must have been over 60% in both categories. In the 2nd half Wellington began to chase the game more and more and began to gain more possession in the Brisbane half.

 

Wellington for their part in the game were quite poor imo compared to the excellent recent form, perhaps they had a bad day but I think part of it is down to the Roars system of play. In the 1st half they sat back and tried to hit Brisbane on the counter attack through the pace of Ifill, Bertos and Smith but the just couldn’t get it right. They had their chances to counter on a few occasions but the last pass had too much on it more often than not.

 

In the 2ndhalf they sat further up the park and tried to take the game to Brisbane, with varying degrees of success. They managed to gain some more control of the game, but they didn’t really create too many opportunities outside of set pieces. In the build up to the game there was a lot of talk about Ifill and Broich and who is the leagues best player. Broich played his usual way and had a good game but Ifill seemed to have a quiet game and aside of him they didn’t really have the attacking threat to challenge Brisbane. Ifill had a two 1 v 1 chances with Theoklitos, but aside from that he was fairly anonymous.

 

Player ratings:

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

Wellington: Paston 6, Lia 6, Sigmund 6, Durante 7, Lochhead 6, Sanchez 6, Brown 6, Smith 6, Bertos 6, Ifill 7, Greenacre 6, Daniel 6, Pavlovic 6.

 

Statistics:

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