Late goal gives Brisbane a winning start

(Getty Images: Hagen Hopkins)

(Getty Images: Hagen Hopkins)

Brisbane Roar (2) Berisha 46’, Franjic 91’
Wellington Phoenix (1) Huysegems 22’

Brisbane: Theo, Hingert, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Brattan, Miller, Franjic, Yeboah, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutions: Henrique for Yeboah (61)
Unused Subs: Acton, Brown, Donachie, Borrello.
Yellow Cards: Brattan
Red Cards: Nil

Wellington: Spoonley, Adams, Boxall, Sigmund, Caira, Muscat, Lia, Hicks, Hernandez, Cunningham, Huysegems.
Substitutions: Ifill for Cunningham (54), Riera for Adams (54), Boyd for Huysegems (83)
Unused Subs: McPeake, Watson
Yellow Cards: Muscat, Hernandez, Spoonley
Red Cards: Nil

Brisbane have started season 9 of the A-League on a winning note across the Tasman as they defeated Wellington Phoenix today. Stein Huysegems gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half with a header from close range following some ordinary defending from Brisbane. Sigmund played a ball towards his fellow centre back in the box Boxall who played it across for Huysegems who got goal side of his marker.

Brisbane equalised immediately after the restart with Franjic, who made a run down the left hand side before cutting the ball across to Berisha for a tap in. Brisbane began to get on top in the closing stages and after Henrique hit the crossbar minutes earlier, Ivan Franjic was on hand to steer home the winner in stoppage time to give Brisbane the points.

The game started off played largely in the Wellington attacking third with Merrick employing a full field press in order to contain Brisbane playing out of defence. With that and their combative approach to the midfield they made life very difficult for Brisbane, especially in the opening half. All of that made life very difficult for Brattan and Miller in the midfield, both of whom had quite games by their standards.

In the first half Brisbane struggled to find a way through the Wellington defence –partly due to the reasons above-, with many passes not finding their marks. There was also a lack of tempo and sharpness in the teams play in the opening half. I might try and do a more in depth tactical piece later in the week. The second half saw Brisbane control much more of the proceedings, or at least look more comfortable out there. This is in part due to Wellington fatiguing, which in effect caused the game to open up which was advantageous to Brisbane.

Wellington for their part were largely similar to what they have been in recent times against the Roar. They had the duel midfield anchors whose job was to break up the play with Muscat and Lia while relying on the pace of Hicks, Cunningham and latterly Ifill. Their primary tactic remained the same in that their first thought was to get the ball forward quickly to catch defenders out of position, and it worked for the goal. It was clear they were underdone in terms of players given they fatigued badly given their defensive pressure in particular dropped off in the second half. All up it was a pretty good performance form Wellington given the difficult circumstances they faced, and in truth they were probably a little unlucky not to take a point from the game.

Stats:

ABC Grandstand

ABC Grandstand

Up Next:
Brisbane returns home to prepare for their home opener against Sydney FC next Saturday night, where they’ll be protecting a proud record of not losing at home to Sydney since late 2007.

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