Henrique goal gives Brisbane the points in Adelaide

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Adelaide United (0)
Brisbane Roar (1) Henrique 18’
11,241 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

Brisbane XI: Young, Bowles, North, Donachie, Brown, Lustica, Brattan, McKay, Petratos, Henrique, Solórzano.
Substitutions: Borrello for Henrique (42’), Sarota for Petratos (79’), Smith for Solórzano (90’).
Unused Substitutes: Acton, Kurtishi.
Yellow Cards: North, Bowles, Brown, Donachie.
Red Cards: Nil.

Adelaide XI: Galekovic, Marrone, McGowan, Elrich, Sanchez, Isaias, Jeggo, Goodwin, Cirio, Ferreira, Djite.
Substitutions: Mabil for Ferreira (67’), Watson for Jeggo (77’).
Unused Substitutes: Hall, Warland, Kamau.
Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Nil.

Brisbane have recorded a third win on the road in four games tonight, defeating Adelaide 1-0 to end the Reds stellar home record. An 18th minute thunderous strike from Henrique, who has now scored seven of the eleven goals in the league this season, was enough to give Brisbane three points on the road.

Brisbane made three changes to the starting side that lost to Melbourne City last week, with James Donachie coming in to replace the departing Matt Smith. Further up the field Steven Lustica came into the side from the start in place of youngster Brandon Borrello, with Dimitri Petratos moving back out wide on the right, while Jean Carlos Solórzano replaced Mensur Kurtishi upfront. Adelaide meanwhile made two changes from the side who beat Western Sydney last week, with Nigel Boogaard and Marcelo Carrusca rested with the FFA Cup final in mind. In their pace were Michael Marrone and Pablo Sanchez.

After an even opening to the game, it was Brisbane who opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Henrique got free on the left hand side, used an overlapping run from Corey Brown as a decoy before cutting inside onto his right foot and riffling a shot into the top corner. It was a fantastic strike, and one that was reminiscent of his second goal against the Jets.

Brisbane then had a golden chance to make it 2-0 soon after, when again Henrique got free down the left hand side. This time however he squared the ball to Dimitri Petratos, who after a poor first touch cut inside onto his left before hitting the crossbar. He had a second bite at the chance after the rebound fell his way, however he blazed over the bar and into the stands. Both this chance, and the goal were well created, pouncing on Adelaide turnovers around the halfway line.

In the second half Adelaide upped the tempo and began to create the openings they’ve become accustomed to, the best of which fell to Sergio Cirio midway through the half. The Spaniard however placed his shot wide of the goal despite little pressure. The Reds dominated the game towards the end, pinning Brisbane into their defensive third, however they couldn’t capitalise on that. The final chance for Adelaide fell to another Spaniard, Pablo Sanchez, who was played in brilliantly by Dylan McGowan, only for Jamie Young to make an excellent close range save.

Adelaide were the side that controlled more of the ball throughout the game, with Brisbane content to put pressure on the ball and hit on the counter attack for the majority. They did have their own spells where they had the ball, but they weren’t as frequent as the Reds, especially in the second half. Despite making some impressive saves throughout the game, Jamie Young again resorted to a lot of long kicks up the park rather than playing out from the back- again this was more in the second half.

One thing that was especially pleasing was the fact that a young back four looked assured in their defensive work against one of the better attacking sides in the competition. James Donachie, making his first start in the centre of defence in the league in almost 18 months looked especially assured in his work, making a strong claim for a regular starting spot with the departure of Smith. In general however, the entire back four did their jobs very well tonight.

One negative from the night however was the injury suffered by Henrique tonight, which saw him limp off the park five minutes before the break. In the aftermath it sounds like the decision to substitute him was largely precautionary, however it’s still worrying nevertheless when a player in the sort of form Henrique is in goes off injured. If it’s not too serious, he should be fit for the next game in 15 days time.

Match Statistics:
via Fox Football

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Up next: After three games on the road over the past 10 days, Brisbane now have two weeks to prepare for the 4th and final game of this road trip against the Mariners. In the meantime they’ll have more than enough time to work on things and enjoy the Christmas period.

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