Disappointment in Melbourne for all three Brisbane teams

It hasn’t been the best weekend for Brisbane down in the Victorian capital with the Youth team losing to the Heart yesterday, before the Victory beat Brisbane in the W-League decider today. More on those two later on but for now we’ll focus on this afternoons 1-0 loss to Melbourne Heart in the A-League.

Melbourne Heart (1) Engelaar 61’
Brisbane Roar (0)
at Melbourne Rectangle Stadium, Melbourne

Theo, Franjic, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Brattan, Miller, McKay, Henrique, Broich, Berisha.
Substitutions: Petratos for Henrique (76’), Donachie for Miller (77’), Solórzano for Brattan (85’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Ferreira.
Yellow Cards: Stefanutto, Miller
Red Cards: Nil.

Redmayne, Hoffman, Kisnorbo, Gerhardt, Behich, Murdocca, Engelaar, Germano, Dugandzic, Ramsay, Williams.
Substitutions: Kalmar for Germano (70’), Mauk for Engelaar (84’), Ramsay for Garuccio (89’).
Unused Substitutes: Velaphi, Vrankovic.
Yellow Cards: Behich, Gerhardt, Murdocca, Ramsay.
Red Cards: Nil.

Last week I wrote about how the team struggled in possession with slow and sloppy ball movement, and a week later the same problems exist. The ball possession and movement was once again far too slow particularly when a quick transition attacking opportunity presented itself. While there were patches that were reasonably good, it still wasn’t the typical Brisbane ball movement and it seemed like they went back to Smith and North more than usual. I thought the midfield was better today, particularly in the case of McKay who worked hard despite getting more than a couple of whacks on his ankle. But in general they seemed to occupy the right spaces more often and were in position to provide a link more often and even though Miller was largely ineffective when he got on the ball, he still found himself in a position to receive the ball in the front third, which is an improvement on last week.

One problem that re-emerged last week was Berisha’s movement and in particular his dropping off the front line into the midfield, and this was something that got worse today and is one of the reasons for the teams’ ineffectiveness in the front third. At times Berisha was dropping so deep that he was almost playing in the holding midfield role, which is not where he’s at his best, and it’s not where Brisbane needs him. Perhaps it’s an issue with the midfield where he feels the need to drop in to provide a passing option I’ve also got no idea why he didn’t pull the trigger earlier on that last minute chance, he was free on the edge of the box and went for the extra touch, take the shot Bes!

While I don’t want to take anything away from Heart or the tactics they went into the game with, the majority of Brisbane’s problems were self inflicted as they had control of the game for long enough to create chances to win the game. Heart however adopted a muscular approach with Engelaar putting in a solid shift in the middle of the park, and they look a far better side with him on the park. The pacy front line they possess was kept largely in check for mine, with North doing a fantastic job on Williams, and even Dugandzic and Ramsey were quiet for the majority of the game. The goal however did come from that side -albeit slack marking in the centre on Engelaar was as big of a reason as Stefanutto getting beaten in the build up-, and it wasn’t Shane’s best game either in truth.

Screenshot_2014-2-23 21.47.26

Up next:
Brisbane are at home next Friday in what will for the second straight week be a top vs. bottom clash as the Heart have now jumped up level on points with the Glory following today’s win. With 5 of the remaining 7 games at home, now is the time to get back that early season fortress, especially with the title race tightening up this weekend.

Meanwhile across town at the Lakeside Stadium it was a dominant performance from Melbourne Victory in the W-League decider. The trio of Stephanie Catley, Lisa De Vanna and Jessica Fishlock along with others helped pin the Brisbane side deep in their own half for long periods of the game, with Brisbane’s striker Emily Gielnik often left isolated. Despite that Brisbane’s best chance fell to Hayley Raso early in the second half, however the youngster who has had a solid season couldn’t beat Davey in goals.

A Brisbane side missing inspirational captain Clare Polkinghorne –who was an unused sub due to injury- hung in the game but were unable to get a handle on the control of the game. Victory played very well at home with Lisa De Vanna and Lauren Barnes finding the net for the hosts. Commiserations to the women, who had another impressive season, and will now turn their attentions towards participating in the NPL Queensland.

Melbourne Victory (2) De Vanna 38’, Barnes 41’
Brisbane Roar (0)

Meanwhile yesterday the youth team made it a trifecta of losses with a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Heart. Brisbane lead the game 2-0 and 4-2 before ultimately losing their penultimate game of the season with three goals in as many minutes midway through the second half turning the tide Heart’s way. Their final game of the NYL season is next Saturday in Newcastle.

Melbourne Heart (7) Dao 39′ 86′, Schroen 45′ Walker 65′,Mifsud 66′, Espindola 68′, Kaya 79′
Brisbane Roar (4) Clut 28′, Lustica 38′, Borrello 50′, Ingham 53′


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