Brisbane beaten in Champions League debut.


Brisbane Roar 0
FC Tokyo 2 (YAZAWA Tatsuya 45+1’, HASEGAWA Ariajasuru 65’)
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Brisbane Stadium
Referee: Kovalenko Valentin
Crowd: 12,037

Well, not the start that we all had in mind on Tuesday as FC Tokyo came and conquered the Australian champions, and they did it pretty comfortably to be honest. Brisbane had their moments and played their game but Tokyo were just too good and a little quicker in most if not all areas.

Starting Line-ups:




Brisbane: Danning for Visconte (55’), Brattan for Murdocca (60’), Meyer for Henrique (78’)
Un-used substitutes: Redmayne, Jurman, Hingert, Fitzgerald.

Yellow Cards: Franjic (68’), Stefanutto (74’), Adnan (86’)
Red Cards: Nil
FC Tokyo: Hanyu for Tanabe (77’), Hyun Soo for Kaha (87’), Kawano for Ishikawa (92’)
Un-used substitutes: Shiota, Hiriyama, Hayaashi, Mukuhara.

Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil

This game was probably the best spectacle of football we’ve witnessed played at ‘Brisbane’ Stadium in the 7 year history of the Roar and both sides played a role and some absolutely breathtaking 1 and 2 touch possession football. Early on it was FC Tokyo who were controlling the possession, but they never really looked dangerous and ran into a well organised Brisbane defence across the 18 yard box. Brisbane started extremely slowly and Ange pretty much admitted they were too nervous and in awe of their opposition, which explains the problem. It must however not happen in future matches –especially on the road- because they could be out of the contest.

Brisbane did however play their way into the match around the midpoint of the 1st half and while they never looked overly dangerous they did manage to hold their own in the possession stakes, predominantly down the right hand side through Franjic and Murdocca. Over on the left Broich was extremely tightly marked and given little lee-way to unlock his bag of tricks. Henrique and Berisha barely got a touch of the ball in their advanced positions. It was probably 50-50 in relation to possession, but it would have been an absolute landslide to FC Tokyo in relation to territory and chances created.



Tokyo were pressuring very high up the park through Watanabe, Ishikawa, Hanyu and Yazawa with 3 of the 4 always pressuring the Roar defenders + Paartalu in an effort to stop them playing out. Unlike most A-League oppositions their pace in the front third and their commitment to the act of pressurising the Roar defenders led to multiple uncharacteristic mistakes from the Roar. However once the Roar did gain somewhat comfortable possession Tokyo were allowing them to have the ball up to 10m inside their own half where they immediately condensed the space and forced turnovers via the incredibly tight passing windows Brisbane had to work with.

Tokyo’s 1st goal was extremely unfortunate and even more unfortunately timed as Yazawa scored in 1st half stoppage time, and whats worse is it came off a Paartalu deflection. The deflection played the ball in behind Stefanutto down the left, exactly the area the Tokyo attack had been unsuccessful in finding all half, and a simple cross and finish later and it was 1-0 to the visitors. Fair reward given their dominance of the 1st half, but an extremely unlucky goal to concede. 



At half time Postecoglou made the adjustment and told his boys to push onto them more and begin to get some possession inside the Tokyo half and inside the 1st 10 minutes of the half they had created 1 or 2 half chances and then their best for the entire night. Broich was in a bit of space just over the halfway line and for once he managed to get the ball to the inconspicuous Berisha who turned his defender and played in the equally ineffective Henrique. The shot had little power and direction but it was a nice piece of play from Brisbane.

Not long after Visconte who was making his 1st start in a fair while due to injury/Olyroos selection made way for Danning who took up his customary right wing role. Henrique shuffled across to the left with Broich dropping slightly deeper and more central to accommodate the speedster. On the whole Kofi was Kofi: He was direct, quick and got in behind his defenders, but when he did the pass/cross/shot was once again less than the standard required.

That little burst of energy for Brisbane was soon burst by Tokyo who had finally managed to escape the offside trap and get in behind Adnan at RCB, with Theoklitos only able to parry the shot gifting Hasegawa the vital 2nd goal for the visitors. Just on the offside trap- I found it astonishing the amount of times FC Tokyo managed to stray offside, it must have been 10+, with Ishikawa (who im dubbing the Japanese Archie Thompson because the pair of them seem to have been born in an offside position) being the biggest culprit. I guess we can count ourselves lucky they were offside so much because the score could have been far worse if they weren’t.



From there Tokyo began to sit a little deeper inviting the Roar onto them, which would in turn allow them to use their blistering attacking speed on the counter attack. Im not 100% sure if that was all due to being 2-0 up or if they were beginning to tire a little but either way. Brisbane began to really control the possession of the game at this point because Tokyo were sitting deeper but all the managed to turn it into was a succession of corners which resulted in next to nothing.

In the end it was quiet an eye opening experience for Brisbane and im sure both Ange and the players learned a heck of a lot out of it, both in relation to Asian football and how their own game is progressing. The most pleasing thing was though that they kept playing their short passing, possession game and managed to maintain at least the line share of possession across the full 90. Perhaps a tweak or two is needed in the attacking 1/3 for the next game away in Beijing in 2 weeks time, perhaps with someone like Fitzgerald starting ahead of Visconte. A fit again Mitch Nichols –who according to some sources is close to accepting a deal with a Serie B club- will also make a massive difference in the attacking 1/3.



Player Ratings:
Theoklitos 6, Franjic 6, Stefanutto 6, Smith 6, Adnan 5, Paartalu 6, Murdocca 6, Visconte 6, Broich 6, Henrique 6, Berisha 5, Danning 6, Meyer 6, Brattan 6.

FC Tokyo: Gonda 6, Tokunaga 7, Morishige 7, Takahashi 7, Kaha 7, Ota 7, Hasegawa 8, Watanabe 7, Ishikawa 8, Hanyu 7, Yazawa 8, Hyun Soo 6, Tanabe 6, Kawano 6.

** If anyone has, or knows of any more extensive statistics than these feel free to post them, these are just the stats from the fox tracker at the bottom of the screen at full time.



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