Henrique hat trick nets first win of the season

Winners! (442/ Getty Images)

Winners! (442/ Getty Images)

Newcastle Jets (0)
Brisbane Roar (4) Henrique (49’, 72’, 89’) Lustica (66’)
10,216 at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle.

Brisbane: Young, Bowles, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Lustica, Brattan, Broich, Petratos, Solórzano, Borrello.
Substitutions: Henrique for Solórzano (36’), Brady for Borrello (81’), Kurtishi for Petratos (82’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Clut.
Yellow Cards: Broich
Red Cards: Nil

Newcastle: Birighitti, Regan, Jaliens Madaschi, Gallagher, Kantarovski, Celeski, Caravella, Griffiths, Montano, Carney. Substitutions: Virgili for Caravella (56’), Welsh for Celeski (63’), Jeronimo for Griffiths (68’).
Unused Substitutes: Kennedy, Flores
Yellow Cards: Regan, Kantarovski, Jaliens.
Red Cards: Nil.

Brisbane have picked up their first points of the season at the fifth time of asking, with a convincing 4-0 win over the Jets in Newcastle tonight. A second half hat trick from Henrique in addition to Steven Lustica’s first of the new season was more than enough to beat a Newcastle side lacking energy and attacking ambition.

Right from the start it was clear that Brisbane were the better side, controlling the game right from the start with some strong passages of possession and far better defensive press in the front third. The work rate of Solórzano, Petratos and Borrello in closing down from the front forced the Jets into multiple errors playing out, handing possession to the visitors in dangerous areas.

Despite their early dominance in possession and territory, Brisbane struggled early on to create many clear goal scoring opportunities, with Luke Brattan’s long range efforts the best Brisbane could manage in the opening 45. A lot of Brisbane’s good play in the first half came down the left hand side, where Solórzano, Stefanutto and Broich –who played as a false 9-, had some nice combinations. Unfortunately Solórzano’s night would ended with a shoulder injury which looks likely to keep him out of the side for a couple of weeks.

Newcastle for their part had 1 half chance early on when Matt Smith had to head a David Carney cross out for a corner- causing momentary confusing in the Roar backline. They also had a shout for a hand ball inside the box turned down, on the whole however Newcastle offered very little and sat back allowing Brisbane time and space to play.

Brisbane finally made their first half dominance pay five minutes into the second half when a beautiful pass from Brattan –who had his full passing range on show tonight- found Stefanutto getting forward on the left, resulting in a tap in for Henrique. Brandon Borrello, making his first start for Brisbane had a great chance to make it 2-0, before Kantarovski lunged in Broich. The ensuing penalty from Petratos however was a poor one.

It would matter little however as just minutes later a surging midfield run from Steven Lustica, and a beautiful one-two with Henrique resulted in Brisbane’s second of the night.

Brisbane’s confidence was back at this point and Brattan again found Henrique in plenty of space 1v1 against Regan, and the Brazilian netted his second of the game with a strike into the corner of the net. He then netted his third of the game in similar fashion late on to score the fourth hat-trick in Brisbane history.

No doubt it was a tough week for Mike Mulvey and his side, and with the game won and a solid performance under their belts he took the opportunity to give young attacker Shannon Brady his debut. No doubt there will be much tougher tests than this to follow in the coming weeks, but for now three points are a much welcomed relief for players, manager and fans alike.

Match Statistics:
*via Fox Sports Football Match Centre

Screenshot_2014-11-14 22.4.59

Milestones/Stats:
– With his late substitute appearance, Shannon Brady became the 106th player to play a competitive game for Brisbane Roar.

– Brandon Borrello made his first start for Brisbane, while Daniel Bowles made his first start in the A-League for the club.

– Tonight’s win was the 100th in the A-League for Brisbane, who are the first club to reach a century.

– Henrique’s hat-trick was the fourth in club history- joining Sergio van Djik, Besart Berisha and Dimitri Petratos in the exclusive club.

Up next:
Brisbane have a week to prepare now for what will no doubt be a much sterner test next Friday night against Melbourne Victory at Docklands. The youth team are in action tomorrow against the Jets, while the women’s team will be in Melbourne on Sunday to take on the Victory. In the meantime however, it’s time to relax and enjoy the long weekend thanks to the G20 summit in town.

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