Brisbane beaten, almost down and out in ACL

Two home games and two defeats- however this defeat could be the knockout blow on Brisbane’s claims to getting out of their group at the 1st attempt. Goals from Juan Estiven and a penalty from Kwak Tae-Hwi were enough to see off the Roar who found the net via a deflection from a Stefanutto shot. The only positive from what was a disappointing night is that it seems like everyone got through the 90 minutes healthy and they should all be ready for Orange Sunday.
Brisbane Roar 1: (Stefanutto 25’)
Ulsan Hyundai 2: (Velez 11’, Tae-Hwi 73(p)’)
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Venue: Brisbane Stadium, Milton, Brisbane
Referee: Torki Mohsen (Iran)
Crowd: 7,015
Starting Line-ups:

Fitzgerald for Berisha (58’), Brattan for Murdocca (63’), Meyer for Nichols (76’)
Substitutes not used: Redmayne, Mundy, Donachie, Visconte

Yellow Cards: Berisha (46’)
Red Cards: Nil


Ienaga for Maranhão (51’), Jae-Soo for Seung- Yong (83’), Hyo-Gi for Seulki (90’)

Substitutes not used: Young-Kwang, Dong-Suk, Chang-Woo, Jin-Ouk

Yellow Cards: Ienaga
Red Cards: Nil

Ulsan got off to what was for them a dream start in the game when they took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes when Juan Estiven Velez robbed Mitch Nichols of the ball 30 odd yards from goal. Estiven then powered a fantastic strike from 20-25 yards out which I think Theo got one hand to, but couldn’t keep it out of the net. He also seemed to be wrong footed by the flight of the ball. Either way not a great start to what was a must win game.
Brisbane however maintained their composure and began to assert themselves on the contest by controlling possession and launching some attacking raids down the flanks- particularly down the right where Franjic and Henrique enjoyed a reasonable amount of success. Unfortunately the final cross just didn’t find Berisha. Paartalu also had two good chances just after the equaliser- one from outside the box which was blocked and one where he really should have hit the target, but his shot looped over the crossbar.
Brisbane did however get their equaliser at the midpoint of the 1st half when Murdocca played a little ball over the defenders into the path of the onrushing Shane Stefanutto who hit a 1st time volley which went across the keeper and into the bottom corner at the far post. There is some suggestion it deflected off of Ulsan skipper Kwak Tae-Hwi but im not so sure- either way im giving the credit for the goal to Stefanutto.
Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be for Brisbane as with 20 minutes to go the Iranian referee gave what appeared to be a soft penalty kick to Ulsan for a foul by Adnan on Min-Soo. Im not sure if it was a stray leg or some sort of weak upper body contact but either way for mine it defiantly belongs in the soft category- and the majority in attendance would suggest it was a case of simulation. But the only opinion which matters is that of the referee and Tae-Hwi stepped up cheekily to convert the penalty for Ulsan.
Brisbane desperately pushed for the equaliser which would have given them some hope in the group but a shot from around the edge of the area from James Meyer was about as close as they came to grabbing what imo would have been a deserved equaliser- but thems the breaks
Looking ahead to the Grand-Final Brisbane played well for most of the game but seemed to be just a little bit flat in the opening quarter hour or so, but they worked their way into the game well. They produced their usual combination play and created some good chances in the game which will hopefully give them confidence for Sunday. Its also a blessing that they got through the game unscathed injury wise and Postecoglou will have a full squad to pick from for the Grand-Final- minus Hingert who’s out with an ankle injury.

Player Ratings:
Theoklitos 7, Franjic 7, Smith 7, Adnan 6, Stefanutto 7, Paartalu 7, Murdocca 6, Nichols 6, Henrique 7, Berisha 7, Broich 7, Fitzgerald 6, Brattan 7, Meyer 7.

Ulsan: Seung-Gyu 7, Young- Sam 7, Tae-Hwi 8, Min-Soo 7, Jae-Seong 7, Seung-Yong 7, Lee Ho 7, Estiven Velez 8, Seulki 7, Maranhão 6, Keun-Ho 7., Ienaga 7, Jae-Soo 7, Hyo-Gi 7.


ACL table:
Following Matchday 4:

Brisbane Roar Suspension Watch:
1 yellow card from a suspension: Stefanutto, Franjic, Murdocca, Berisha
* Jurman is available for selection in the next AFC Champions League game

Up next for Brisbane: Hyundai A-League Grand-Final aka ‘Orange Sunday II- The sequel’ against Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon at 4.00pm. There’s still some tickets remaining if you haven’t got them yet but I wouldn’t leave it too much longer to book.
Up next in the ACL: FC Tokyo away on Wednesday May 2 in Japan. The 6th and final game in the competition will be played on May 16 at ‘Brisbane Stadium’ against Beijing Guoan.


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