Brisbane start slow, finish strong to get the points.

Brisbane Roar (3) Henrique 48’, 65’, Smith 77’
Melbourne Heart (0)
15,011 at Lang Park, Brisbane.

(442- Getty Images)

(442- Getty Images)

Brisbane: Theo, Hingert, North, Smith, Brown, Brattan, McKay, Franjic, Henrique, Broich, Yeboah.
Substitutions: Petratos for Yeboah (64’), Borrello for Henrique (78’), Ferreira for Brattan (79’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Donachie.
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil

Melbourne: Redmayne, Walker, Wielaert, Gerhardt, Behich, Murdocca, Migliorini, Ramsay, Dugandzic, Williams, Mifsud.
Substitutions: Mauk for Migliorini (64’), Mebrahtu for Ramsay (78’), Retre for Dugandzic (88’).
Unused Substitutes: Velaphi, Vrankovic.
Yellow Cards: Migliorini, Murdocca, Wielaert, Mauk.
Red Cards: Nil.

Brisbane have continued their solid start to the new season with a 3-0 home win against Melbourne Heart. After a sluggish first half Brisbane took the lead early in the 2nd half when Brattan found Henrique with a second ball from the corner. The Brazilian then doubled both the score and his own tally with a contentious 2nd. McKay played a quick free kick –the ball was still rolling- forward down the right side to Petratos who unleashed a shot which Henrique prodded home from a borderline offside position. I thought he was just on when I watched the replay, but Heart would have rights to feel aggrieved- if they didn’t waste half a dozen golden chances before that. Matt Smith then bobbed up with his 2nd of the campaign with an assist from McKay to round out the scoring from yet another 2nd phase from a set piece.

Player wise a lot of the talk was about the youngsters who would be coming into the side to fill the void of the established stars, and I thought that despite getting off to a shaky start, Brown had a reasonably impressive game at left back. Yeboah on the other hand struggled as the #9, but was much more influential in the 2nd half in his natural role on the right flank, and was unlucky not to open his goal scoring account. In fact that halftime change of moving Franjic central, Yeboah wide right and Henrique upfront had a large role in Brisbane turning the game around in their favour.

All of that makes it sound like something of a regulation home win for Brisbane, that isn’t the case however as the Heart had more than enough chances to win this game. The visitors were by far the better side in the opening half creating a string of good chances- the best falling to left winger Iain Ramsay who fired wide, before Ramsay also hit the post in the 2nd half. Maltese import Michal Mifsud also had a golden chance to score after Brisbane went 2-0 up, but he too blazed wide of Theo’s goal. Mulvey says the players were clueless out there, whereas at half time Smith said they hadn’t started playing- regardless it wasn’t the vintage Roar of old out there yesterday in the first half.

In his postgame comments Mulvey indicated that he wasn’t fully prepared for the Hearts attacking game plan, indicating that he was expecting the Heart to sit back and play on the counter. A lack of respect or planning on Mulvey’s part it may have been, but they were good tactics from Aloisi. Using the pace of Mifsud, Williams, Ramsay and Dugandzic along with the high work rate of Murdocca to press Brisbane high up the park was a good tactic, and something that Sydney FC used when they ultimately brought undone Brisbane’s long unbeaten run a couple of seasons ago. Heart could feel unlucky at not getting something from this fixture, but the bottom line is when you create so many good clear cut chances, you have to convert them.

One final point, the officiating in the league hasn’t been fantastic this weekend and I’ve already mentioned the controversy surrounding the 2nd goal but that wasn’t the only contentious moment. Since when can you be offside from a throw in?, im sure that’s what McKay was asking referee Lucien Lavendure, but whatever, it’s done. In the end Brisbane are now unbeaten at home in 6 games, while the Heart continue to search for their first win outside Victoria since late 2011.

Stats: (From TheScore.com.au)
Round 4a

Round 4

Up next: Brisbane are on the road for the next couple of weeks, heading to the mid north coast of NSW. They begin their two game road trip next Sunday when they travel to defending champions Central Coast Mariners.

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