Late own goal costs Brisbane the points in Melbourne

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Melbourne Victory (1)  O.G- North (77′)
Brisbane Roar (0)
23,470 at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

Brisbane XI: Young, Bowles, North, Smith, Stefanutto, Petratos, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Broich, Henrique.
Substitutions Donachie for Stefanutto (17’), Kurtishi for Borrello (62’), Lustica for McKay (81’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Brady.
Yellow Cards: North, Brattan, McKay.
Red Cards: Nil.
Melbourne XI: Coe, Galloway, Broxham, Leijer, Georgievski, Milligan, Valeri, Finkler, Thompson, Ben Khalfallah, Berisha.
Substitutions: Barbarouses for Thompson (57’), Pain for Finkler (67’), Mahazi for Valeri (86’).
Unused Substitutes: Thomas, Makarounas.
Yellow Cards: Milligan, Valeri.
Red Cards: Nil.

A third own goal of the season has seen Brisbane record their fifth loss in six starts as Melbourne came away with a 1-0 Victory at Docklands tonight in what was a tight and tense struggle. The own goal, which came in the 77th minute arrived after a Berisha header deflected off Jade North.

In addition to the goal, Victory had themselves a couple of openings, including what they thought was a goal which was ruled out due to offside against Adrian Leijer. Leijer also fouled Young in the process for mine, but not long after they got the breakthrough the defender missed a clear chance to make it two. Berisha and Ben Khalfallah also had their chances in the game, but were denied by Young with a pair of impressive saves.

Brisbane’s best chance fell to Brandon Borrello midway through the first half after he got onto the end of a free kick, but couldn’t get enough power on his shot to beat Coe. Henrique had a chance early in the second half while Lustica had an effort from outside the box in injury time, but aside from those it was a night of few opportunities for Brisbane.

The pattern of the game was set early on with Melbourne controlling the majority of possession, while Brisbane sat deep and hit on the counter. Brisbane defensive work was particularly strong aside from the own goal, with Melbourne limited to only one or two clear chances despite their dominance of possession.

In attack Brisbane, for the first time in a long time, Brisbane were forced into playing without the ball due to Melbourne’s desire to also play with the ball, and their defensive press which was very impressive tonight lead by Berisha. One Brisbane player who particularly stood out was Luke Brattan who had another solid showing in the middle of the park, although tonight it was more so in a defensive sense as he kept Gui Finkler relatively quiet.

There was also a noticeable difference in Brisbane’s play with the ball tonight with an emphasis on getting the ball forward quickly into the channels for Borrello and Henrique to chase- and it was largely ineffective. It’s the first time in a very long time that a Brisbane side has opted to/ been forced into using such a tactic and hopefully it’s not something that will become a regular occurrence.

One of the main problems so far this season has been the run of injuries suffered, and Shane Stefanutto only added to that this evening with a Groin injury that Mulvey admitted in the post game press conference would see him out for 5-6 weeks. Stefanutto now joins Theo, Hingert, Sarota and Lambadaridis all out for the next few weeks.

Match Statistics:
via Fox Football

Screenshot_2014-11-21 22.48.55

Up next: It doesn’t get any easier for Brisbane with the inform and top of the table Perth Glory in town next weekend on Saturday afternoon. Perth came away winners when the two sides met in round two with an Andy Keogh hat trick giving his side the win. With Brisbane’s injury issues it will be interesting to see who gets the chance to start.

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