Over the course of the season we’ll keep tabs on the yellow and red card situation for both Brisbane and the rest of the league. It all adds up to the ‘Fair play Award’ on the A-League’s annual awards night, and Brisbane Roar won both the A-League and Youth League fair play award. In fact Brisbane have won the award for four successive seasons, and five times in six years all up. For those unaware of how the points are tallied up- here’s a reminder:
Yellow Card – 1 point
2nd Caution Red Card – 2 points
Direct Red Card – 3 points
Here’s how the overall standings shape up after the opening month of the season, with one game between Western Sydney and Central Coast.
With the round one red card for Matt McKay and seven yellow cards over the opening three games, Brisbane sit at the bottom of the table after the opening month of the new season. Meanwhile Wellington have been the most disciplined team over the opening month with just one yellow card to date.
Luke Brattan is the only Brisbane player to pick up multiple cautions so far this season, however he’s still got a while to go before he’s in danger of an automatic suspension due to yellow cards. Matt McKay’s red card was the fourth of his Brisbane Roar career, and also took him back to the top of that statistic- one clear of Besart Berisha.
Liam Miller was this afternoon released from the final 7 months of his contract with Brisbane Roar after the club announced this afternoon the two would part by mutual consent.
The beginning of the end here was the fact that Miller was dropped to the bench in favour of a Petratos- Henrique right side combination in attack after the round one loss to Adelaide, which resulted in a DNP against his old side Perth in round two and a 78’ minute cameo in the most recent game against Sydney.
All of that lead to Mulvey deciding to make Miller available for Saturday’s NYL game against Adelaide in order for him to get some match practice something he also opted to do with Jack Hingert and Jean Carlos Solórzano. Both Hingert and Solórzano played 90 minutes and did well, and it was probably a case where the plan was for Miller to do likewise.
Marco reported yesterday in the paper that he oversaw a lengthy discussion between Mulvey and Miller at the recovery session on Saturday morning, where yesterday Mulvey alleged that it was decided that he wouldn’t play in the game that afternoon due to an injury. Brisbane however did keep a spot in the matchday squad open for him however, and despite having the full NYL squad at Goodwin Park on Saturday evening, they were left a man short on the bench for the game which they won 1-0.
The fact that they left a spot in the squad open for him right up until the last minute would seem to indicate that he failed to show up and that Jeff Hopkins and the Roar youth coaching staff were expecting him to play. I did pick up on this on Saturday afternoon, and I mentioned on twitter yesterday that it was probably the beginning of the end for him. It also makes Mulvey’s assertion that Miller was withdrawn due to an injury and any other discussion is ‘scurrilous’ to suggest otherwise look rather foolish.
The Miller departure frees up a roster spot and a visa spot, although when considering any potential signings- it’s important to keep in mind the ACL visa rules which as things stand will see 1 of Broich, Kurtishi, Henrique or Solórzano miss out. It’s also worth remembering that the FFA are currently planning on reducing the visa players from 5 to 4 next year in order to try and get more young Australian players a chance. If they do go out and bring somebody in, hopefully it’s a striker who can score the goals because at the moment it seems like that is a bit of a problem. More on that, and the visa rule at a later time.
Miller’s departure would be a lot more keenly felt if it were for the absolute depth in the midfield that Brisbane currently possesses. His departure should see the chance for youngsters like Devante Clut and George Lambadaridis to press for a first team opportunity while it also paves the way for Adam Sarota to come into the side if he can get himself fit.
It’s important however to remember Liam’s contribution here in Brisbane, where he became the 95th player to wear the Brisbane shirt, playing 24 games all up, chipping in with three goals. Despite suffering some niggling injuries he provided balance to the midfield and was a regular starter in last years Premiership and Championship side. Thanks for being apart of a Championship winning team Liam, we’ll be following your career in the future.
Brisbane Roar (1) Clut 6’
Adelaide United (0)
at Goodwin Park, Yeronga
Brisbane XI: Chalmers, Hingert, Crestani, Jackson, Schmidt, Clut, Hore, Pavlou, Brady, Borrello, Solórzano.
Substitutions: Sibatuara for Borrello (45’), Yango for Solórzano (82’)
Brisbane Roar have continued their unbeaten start to the NYL season with a 1-0 win over the Reds at Goodwin Park. An early goal from Devante Clut was the difference between two sides that were evenly matched for the most part.
Ironically it was the Reds who controlled the opening stages of the game, however it was the Roar who would open the scoring with their first attack of the game when Devante Clut found space outside the box and his shot went through the crowd of players and into the bottom corner of the net. The rest of the first half was largely a midfield battle with neither side really creating much.
The game opened up in the second half with much more space in the middle of the park for Clut and Hore to operate in, and it was the Roar who had the better of the play. Solórzano played in Shannon Brady on the right hand side, however his shot cannoned back off the post before half time substitute Samuel Sibatuara saw his follow up cleared off the line.
Brisbane had a couple of other chances in the closing moments, including what could have been the comedy goal of the year for Solórzano, unfortunately however after robbing Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo of the ball he could only find side netting. The final chance of the game fell to substitute Abraham Yango, who after being played through 1v1 was unable to beat the keeper.
Player wise Solórzano was probably the standout for the home side on the day. Despite not finding the net himself he held the ball up well, linked the play well and had some nice little flicks and tricks. Hingert played the 90 minutes for the home side at right back and acquitted himself well. In the first half he wasn’t able to get forward much, however in the second half he was able to get forward and injected himself into the play a lot more. Samuel Sibatuara also looked lively off the bench in the second half, having a couple of chances to score. Devante Clut also had a solid game in addition to his goal.
Elsewhere today the W-League sides disappointing season has continued with a 4-1 loss away to the Jets. Tameka Butt scored late on for the Roar, however it was just a consolation for the visitors who are now 7th, 7points out of the top four and in real danger of missing the finals for the first time.
Brisbane head down to Melbourne to take on the Victory next Saturday afternoon, and will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season. In the W-League the women are away to second placed Sydney FC on Saturday afternoon.
Brisbane Roar (0)
Sydney FC (2) Janko 28’, Dimitrijevic 54’
14,141 @ Lang Park, Brisbane
Brisbane: Young, Donachie, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Petratos, Brattan, Lustica, Henrique, Kurtishi, Broich.
Substitutions: Borrello for Lustica (63’), Solórzano for Kurtishi (68’), Miller for Henrique (78’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Hingert.
Yellow Cards: Lustica, Brattan.
Red Cards: Nil.
Sydney: Janjetovic, Bojic, Ryall, Ognenovski, Abbas, Dimitrijevic, Antonis, Ibini-Isei, Brosque, Gameiro, Janko.
Substitutions: Naumoff for Janko (78’), Gligor for Gameiro (89’).
Unused Substitutions: Necevski, Gersbach, Calver.
Yellow Cards: Ibini-Isei, Janjetovic.
Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar have started the season with a third straight loss after a 2-0 loss to Sydney FC last night. Long range efforts from Marc Janko and Milos Dimitrijevic saw the Sky Blues leave Brisbane with the points for the first time in seven years. The loss means that the defending champions are now in the middle of their worst starting the club history, with two weeks to turn it around before Melbourne City come to Brisbane.
The biggest problem or concern coming out of the game from a Brisbane perspective is the passing game and playing out of the back. It seemed like in the first half especially they were overplaying the playing out from the back stuff with mistakes creeping in due to Sydney’s co-ordinated defensive press. The first goal was pretty much as a result of that. Brisbane apparently had 590 passes last night, however when at least half of those are between the goalkeeper and the two centre backs that doesn’t really mean that much. With all those passes in the back three and Sydney’s high press it also resulted in a lot of aimless long balls up the park, something we haven’t seen very much of in the past from Brisbane. To be fair there were a few pieces of good play building up through the lines, but there was nowhere near enough of it last night.
There were also problems in the front half of the pitch too, with turnovers coming out of the midfield in addition to the wrong or more conservative option being taken. It also seemed that there weren’t enough runs being made in behind the defensive, particularly from the full-backs with Stefanutto and Donachie not getting forward anywhere near enough. All of that linked in to the fact Brisbane seemed to create very little last night, and im actually having a hard time remembering any real chances created aside of the set piece routine that saw Brattan have a shot from the edge of the box. Kurtishi struggled at home once again and he barely had a kick in the game either really, although I do think that Solórzano and to an extent Borrello looked lively when they came off the bench.
From Sydney’s perspective however it was a very impressive and disciplined display, with a compact defensive combined with some excellent defensive press. The way they squeezed the space on Brisbane forcing them backwards and into tight areas was very impressive. It was a scenario like that which caused the first goal with Smith and Stefanutto being pressured into playing back to Young whose clearing kick wasn’t the best. Fair play to Janko for the quality control and finish.
The second was also an impressive finish, however there was next to no pressure on Dimitrijevic’s shot. Brattan’s clearance was deflected by the shoulder of the referee and in truth he and Thomas Broich did put pressure on Antonis and another Sydney player, but I think it was Lustica who was standing there not pressuring anyone which allowed Dimitrijevic the time on the ball. As I mentioned it was a decent strike too, but you’d have to think that Young won’t be pleased with his part in the goal. Arnold admitted in the press last night that it was a deliberate tactic to exploit Jamie’s positioning after Djite did likewise in round 1. There’s definitely a lot of work to do in the lead-up to the City game.
– Three straight losses to the season officially makes this the clubs worst start to an A-League campaign. Their previous worst was two draws and a loss in the first three rounds of the 2009-10 season.
– Continuing on the bad news theme, including the FFA Cup tie against Adelaide, Brisbane have now lost their last four games. The last time Brisbane had a four game losing streak was in the 2011-12 season when Brisbane lost five straight games on the back of their 36 game unbeaten run.
– Finally, that was Sydney’s first win at Lang Park since 2007, snapping what was a run of nine successive home games where Brisbane got at least a point – 8 wins, 1 draw-.
Brisbane have got the weekend off next week thanks to Western Sydney’s commitments in the second leg of the AFC Champions League- a game which will be made up on Wednesday December 3. That means that Brisbane have 14 days from today –Saturday- to prepare for their next game which is against Melbourne City. In the meantime im sure there will be a lot of hard work on the training track, and there’s also a couple of National Youth League games for fringe players to make a case for inclusion- including this afternoon as Brisbane take on Adelaide. Kick-off is from 5.00pm at Goodwin Park, Yeronga for those interested.
Brisbane go into round three in a position they haven’t found themselves in throughout their history- winless after two rounds. That makes this an opportunistic time to run into a home game against a team who haven’t won in Brisbane since 2007 and have played an FFA Cup tie just 72hours before this game. The sky blues should be written off however, after picking up four points from six against after a first up draw with Melbourne City and a win in the derby last week against the Wanderers.
Last week Brisbane played some solid football going forward, however they fell down with some sloppy defensive mistakes costing them the points and it could well be a case of history repeating with Sydney’s strong front four showing some good early season form. That will put some added pressure on the Brisbane back line which has shone frailties in the opening weeks with seven goals conceded in the last three games –including the FFA Cup tie-.
Brisbane: Henrique, Kurtishi, Broich (1)
Sydney: Gameiro (2)
Mike Mulvey has plenty of injury concerns to his squad going into this game with Corey Brown, Michael Theo, George Lambadaridis and Adam Sarota all out with injury while Matt McKay misses the second game of his suspension. With those five unavailable this weekend and the fact that Mulvey was impressed with last weekend’s performance it would seem that there’s a reasonable chance that the team may remain the same. If there were to be a change it would surely be Jack Hingert coming into the side for Donachie- however I think he might get another chance.
Likely Brisbane XI: Young, Donachie, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Petratos, Brattan, Lustica, Henrique, Kurtishi, Broich.
Substitutes: Acton, Hingert, Miller, Danning, Solórzano.
Sydney have had a short preparation for this game with an FFA Cup tie on Tuesday evening, a game which will give them an additional problem going into this one. Nikola Petkovic was harshly sent off by everyone’s favourite referee with the MRP upholding his one match ban. That suspension, plus the injury to Matt Jurman means a reshuffle is likely for Sydney that should see Sebastian Ryall move into the centre of defence with Pedj Bojic likely to come in at right back. Further forward Arnold also has choices in midfield but it’s unlikely he’ll make any extra changes after the 3-2 comeback win over the Wanderers.
Likely Sydney XI: Janjetovic, Bojic, Ryall, Ognenovski, Gersbach, Antonis, Dimitrijevic, Ibini, Brosque, Gameiro, Janko.
Substitutes: Necevski, Calver, Carle, Naumoff, Abbas.
Omitted: Gligor, Timotheou.
– Brisbane have a fantastic record against Sydney FC up here in Brisbane having won the last eight games at Lang Park. Sydney’s last win at the venue was on September 22, 2007 when they won 1-0 thanks to a Brazilian substitute called Patrick.
– Tomorrow night is Mike Mulvey’s 50th game in the A-League as head coach of Brisbane Roar. So far in his 49 games he’s won 25, drawn 7 and lost 17 with 68 goals for and 50 against.
All-time record against Sydney FC:
Kick-off tomorrow night is set down for 7.00pm- and for those that cant make it to the ground the match can be seen live on Fox Sports 1 and SBS1, plus heard live on ABC Grandstand. Elsewhere this weekend the National Youth League side will play their first home game of the season on Saturday afternoon against Adelaide United. Kick-off in the round 2 NYL encounter is set down for 5.00pm at Goodwin Park for those interested. Finally the ladies side are away from home this weekend, heading down to Newcastle to take on the Jets on Saturday afternoon. They will be looking to get just their second win of the season to move up the ladder towards the top four, and they’ll also be looking for their second win of the campaign over the Jets.
Perth Glory (3) Keogh 49’, 93’, O.G 73’
Brisbane Roar (2) Kurtishi 39’, Henrique 55’
8,789 at Perth Oval
Brisbane: Young: Donachie, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Lustica, Brattan, Broich, Petratos, Kurtishi, Henrique.
Substitutions: Solórzano for Kurtishi (77’), Hingert for North (79’), Danning for Henrique (87’)
Substitutes not used: Acton, Miller
Yellow Cards: Broich, North, Brattan
Red Cards: Nil
Perth: Vukovic, Risdon, Djulbic, Thwaite, Jamieson, Marinkovic, Griffiths, Hersi, Nichols, Garcia, Keogh.
Substitutes: Maclaren for Marinkovic (46’), Clisby for Hersi (79’), Ferreira for Risdon (83’)
Substitutes not used: Thurtell, O’Neill.
Yellow Cards: Garcia, Keogh.
Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane have started the season with back to back defeats after a late Andy Keogh goal proved the difference in a five goal encounter at the Perth Oval. The game was a largely tight and tactical affair with both sides sticking to their plans and one where defensive mistakes played a crucial role. Brisbane had the majority of the ball over the 90 minutes, however the majority of their possession coming in the back to middle third of the pitch with a slow build up, and while Perth weren’t particularly dangerous in the opening 45 especially, they were more direct in their intent to get the ball and get towards the attacking third. One area where teams are doing a good job so far this season against the Roar is in the defensive pressure on the ball, with both Adelaide and Perth not giving Brisbane as much time on the ball.
Brisbane opened the scoring five minutes before the break when Mensur Kurtishi got on the end of a fantastic cross from Henrique to net his first goal for Brisbane. In something of an irony, Besart Berisha – the man Kurtishi has come in to replace- also scored his first goal for the Roar away from home in round 2, albeit Brisbane won that day. The chance itself came from a clever ball in behind the defence by Lustica where Henrique had space on the right hand side as a result of the Perth defenders pressing up the pitch to congest the space. Nice variation and something that we may see more of this year if teams continue to press higher up the park to congest the space this season. The goal also came from one of the few times in the first half where a Brisbane midfielder had time on the ball.
Brisbane’s second goal came from two of the Roar’s foreign contingent linking up with Broich going on a mazy run across the park before playing wide to Henrique who used the overlapping run from Donachie as decoy as he blasted it into the top corner of the net. It was one of the few times Donachie got forward on the afternoon, but it was to maximum effect on this occasion.
Perth’s first goal came as a result of Andy Keogh getting half a yard on Jade North, and the veteran defender, who Mulvey said was struggling with a bug all week, made a clumsy challenge in the box to give the marquee striker a spot kick. Jamie Young tried to wait for the kick, but was out done by the Irishman who waited for him to commit before calmly slotting in the other corner. Perth’s second equaliser of the afternoon came from a good ball into the feet of Keogh once again who managed to turn and get his shot off. The shot was probably going wide, however it took a big deflection off James Donachie which sent it into the direction of the goal, leaving Jamie Young stranded and Donachie credited with two O.G’s in two games. I’ve seen a lot of blame credited to Donachie on this one, which is harsh for mine because he’s doing what all defenders do in that situation- getting something in the way to stop the ball going towards the goal. Last week’s O.G was ordinary, this one was just rotten luck for the youngster.
Perth’s winner came in injury time from a corner kick and Keogh was somehow free inside the six yard box with a combination of James Donachie and Matt Smith leaving the Irishman free to net the winner. Smith overran then ball and missed his header, leaving Keogh, who had gotten free of Donachie. Im also not convinced that Jamie Young couldn’t of come and punched that clear given it was inside his six yard box. Regardless of who is to blame, it’s cost Brisbane a point on the road and leaves the defending champions winless from two rounds.
Milestones and stats:
– With back to back losses, this makes it the worst start in A-League history for the Brisbane Roar, with the previous worst coming in the 2009-10 season when the Roar lost 3-1 to Gold Coast and drew 3-3 with Melbourne Victory to pick-up one point from their opening two games.
– Mensur Kurtishi became the 55th player to score for Brisbane Roar in the A-League after his first half goal today.
– Kofi Danning made his first appearance for Brisbane Roar in over 18 months this afternoon with his late cameo off the bench. Kofi’s last game for Brisbane prior to today came on the 16th of May, 2012 when he started against Beijing Guo’an in the final game of Brisbane’s 2012 ACL campaign. For his last A-League game, you have to go back to March 25 of the same year, where he played in the Brisbane team that secured the win in the final M1 derby against Gold Coast.
All three Brisbane sides were in action, with the women’s team taking on the Victory in a Grand Final rematch, while the youth side started their season away to the Central Coast. Starting with the women’s team, and the season that hasn’t quite gone according to plan continued this afternoon with a 1-1 draw at Goodwin Park. After a tight first half, Melbourne’s Amy Jackson scored her 5th goal of the season to give the visitors the lead with just 20 minutes remaining. Brisbane’s response came with just six minutes to play when youngster Sunny Franco slotted home past the Victory keeper. Meanwhile in the Youth League season opener, Brisbane and Central Coast played out a 0-0 stalemate at the Central Coast Centre of Excellence. There aren’t many reports on this game but from what I can gather it was a tight contest where Brisbane controlled possession and the Mariners hit on the counter attack. The hosts did however finish with 10 men after captain Josh Bingham was sent from the field for a second bookable offence.
Brisbane have a long flight and a short turnaround before fronting up to take on Sydney FC on Friday night. The one thing in Brisbane’s favour here besides the fact they’ve got an excellent record against Sydney up here, is the fact that they’ve got a midweek game against Adelaide in the FFA Cup will limit the sky blues preparations. Despite that however with two losses from two, nothing can be taken for granted in what is almost a must win game. Meanwhile in the W-League Brisbane head to Newcastle on Saturday afternoon looking for a second win of the season –both against Newcastle and in general-, while Brisbane Roar youth start their home NYL campaign against Adelaide United. Times and dates are still TBC for that game, but with Perry Park still being upgraded Goodwin Park looms as the likely destination.
After Sunday’s loss, Brisbane will be out to pick up their first points of the campaign after a disappointing first up performance against Adelaide. Meanwhile in contrast their opponents will be going into the game high on confidence after an attacking display saw them pick up the three points in the so called ‘distance derby’ thanks to a late winner. These two sides didn’t meet in the pre-season so this will be the first time they’ve played each other this season.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen a lot of them this season, and I didn’t see their game against the Phoenix so it’s tough to know what to really expect from them. Perth had more shots than anyone else in the first round of the competition and Kenny Lowe has stated that he wants his side to attack teams no matter what. If Perth does take that approach then it could set up an interesting dynamic with Brisbane showing some frailties in defence against a well organised Adelaide in attack, while they have also of course beaten many sides in the past who have pushed onto them. In almost all of the recent meetings between the two sides it has been Brisbane who have been the side in control of the majority of the game, with Perth tending to hit quickly on the counter- and I think that’s the way this game will likely turn out.
Mike Mulvey has a few selection decisions to make going into Sunday’s game, with at least one chance being necessary after Matt McKay received a two match suspension for dissent which begins this weekend. Who comes in as a replacement will be dependant upon how attacking Mulvey wants to play it against a Perth side who like to get the ball forward themselves. If it’s a like for like replacement, it could be a case of one of Steven Lustica or Adam Sarota, and there’s a case to be made for both. Lustica is the more match fit and acclimatised to the Brisbane system of the duo, while Sarota -who was a late withdrawal from the bench on Sunday after picking up a minor knee injury- is still getting used to being back in Brisbane and is short on match sharpness. Still, if I had to choose, Id say that Sarota is the more likely to come into the side as a like for like replacement. Should Mulvey opt to be more attacking, he could also bring Broich into the midfield trio as he has in the preseason at times, with either Solórzano or more likely Henrique coming into the starting side. Despite Henrique looking very sharp on Sunday against Adelaide, I think it’s unlikely that he will start the game.
Mulvey may also have a decision to make in the back four after James Donachie looked out of place on the right hand side last week- both in the goal and also going forward. It would seem that Jack Hingert is ahead in the pecking order of Bowles and would seem to be the obvious choice should a change be made.
Likely Brisbane XI: Young, Hingert, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Miller, Brattan, Sarota, Petratos, Broich, Kurtishi.
Substitutes: Acton, Donachie, Lustica, Henrique, Solórzano.
Omitted: Bowles, Danning.
In relation to Perth selection, there really isn’t much to talk about here. After starting the season in a positive manner over in Wellington last weekend, Perth are expected to go into this one with the same 4-2-3-1 formation they employed last weekend. Injuries to Ruben Zadkovich and Sidnei Sciola limit the options available to Kenny Lowe, although despite that he’s not short of attacking talent. The only change to their matchday squad could possibly be Jack Clisby coming onto the bench for defensive cover, but there’s no real urgency to make that move. Really though- it will surely be a case of an unchanged line-up for the hosts.
Likely Perth XI: Vukovic, Risdon, Djulbic, Thwaite, Jamieson, Marinkovic, Griffiths, Hersi, Nichols, Garcia, Keogh.
Substitutes: Duncan, O’Neill, Ferreira, Maclaren, Harold.
Omitted: Clisby, O’Brien.
Brisbane have had an excellent record at the Perth Oval over the course of the A-League, with just two losses in thirteen games along and an impressive eight wins with the last loss at the venue back in r27, 2010 (They also lost r1 2012 but that was at Subiaco Oval). Last season saw Brisbane pick up seven points out of nine against Perth, but when the two sides met in the West it was a nil all draw with Brisbane finishing the game with 10 men after Berisha was sent off.
Elsewhere this weekend Brisbane takes on Melbourne Victory in round 6 of the 2014 W-League season with the women’s team almost approaching must win territory to keep their record of making the finals every year alive. The Grand-Final re-match between 6th placed Brisbane and 3rd placed Melbourne is this Sunday at Goodwin Park, with kick-off from 2.00pm. This is the TV game of the round which means the game will be shown on ABC1 from 3.00pm Qld time. Unfortunately however with the kick-off time and the delayed TV coverage this clashes directly with the A-League game from Perth making it almost impossible to attend the game –unless you live close to Goodwin Park- and tough to watch both at the same time on TV.
The National Youth League season also begins this weekend with Brisbane in action on, you guessed it, Sunday afternoon as Brisbane take on Central Coast at the Gosford Centre of Excellence. For those in the area who may be interested in getting out to watch Jeff Hopkins side run around, kick-off from Gosford is set down for 1.30pm local time. It shapes as a busy Sunday with all three sides in action, and we’ll be across all the action over on our other social media platforms.