Brisbane go 6 points clear with win over AdelaidePosted: December 6, 2013
Brisbane Roar (2) Berisha 21’ P.K, 72’
Adelaide United (1) Malik 7’
at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Brisbane: Acton, Hingert, Donachie, Smith, Brown, Franjic, Brattan, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutions: Miller for Henrique (56’), Yeboah for Berisha (76’)
Yellow Cards: Miller, Hingert.
Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide: Galekovic, Elrich, McKain, Malik, Zullo, Isaias, Carrusca, Lustica, Ferreira, Cirio, Djite.
Substitutions: Neumann for Djite (62’), Mabil for Ferreira (68’), Barker Daish for Lustica (73’)
Yellow Cards: Cirio, Djite
Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide started out the game in the ascendency, controlling the play in the early stages in their attacking third and they got their rewards early on through Osama Malik in the 7th minute. In truth Acton –who was otherwise impressive- didn’t get enough on his clearance but the who set piece defending was rather disappointing, and was a good wake up call given Brisbane hadn’t started playing at that point. Adelaide’s surprise inclusion of Bruce Djite upfront was an interesting and ultimately good decision from Gombau and the big striker held the ball up well allowing them to maintain possession and control of the game. Adelaide probably shaded the first half with some decent chances to go along with their goal, however the contest was a bit sloppy all around with the defensive press of both sides resulting in turnovers.
Despite not playing particularly well in the opening half Brisbane went in level at half time after Berisha converted a penalty won by Corey Brown down the left hand side. Elrich completely switched off from the throw in allowing Brown to get goal side before making a ill-advised challenge from behind resulting in the penalty. That aside Brisbane didn’t create too many chances in the opening half with Adelaide holding their shape well and shaded the possession stakes. Into the second half one major difference between the teams appears to be the ability to maintain the pressure for a full 90 minutes, with Adelaide becoming more stretched as the game wore on, and while it was obvious he was tiring before he went off, Adelaide lost a lot when Djite went off.
Mulvey’s tactical change of replacing Miller with the largely ineffective Henrique and shifting Franjic over to the right hand side proved to be an astute substitution as it provided Brisbane with more width and helped stretch a tiring Reds side. In the half-time interview Brisbane assistant Luciano Trani suggested that the plan was the switch the point of the attack quicker to capitalise on players out of position. Moving Franjic out to the right was a good tactical decision. The change immediately gave Brisbane an outlet down the right hand side and it should have resulted in a goal for Berisha who had a golden chance. Broich also began to see more space over on the left hand side meaning Brisbane had two creative outlets down the flanks to play the ball forward to.
Despite all of that, Brisbane’s winner came through the centre of the park with Berisha making a good run into the box before losing balance and scoring despite being on the ground. The goal made it 7 in 8 games against Adelaide for the Albanian, and 4 in 3 since his return to the side from a hamstring injury. Adelaide had their chances late on to secure an equaliser with Cirio tamely shooting straight at Acton, before he was denied the chance to power into the box after Hingert dragged him down.
Brisbane are away from home again next weekend, as they complete their two game road trip with a second trip across the Tasman to take on Wellington. Meanwhile back here in Brisbane their home ground will play host to a series of concerts, which hopefully wont wreck the pitch.