10 man Brisbane take point from Perth

(Will Russell/Getty Images AsiaPac)

(Will Russell/Getty Images AsiaPac)

 

Brisbane: Theo, Polenz, North, Donachie, Brown, Broich, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Henrique, Kaluderovic.
Substitutions: Solórzano for Kaluderovic (46’), Petratos for Henrique (65’), DeVere for Borrello (79’)
Unused Substitutes: Young, Sarota.
Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Brown.

Perth: Vukovic, Risdon, Thwaite, Djulbic, Jamieson, Griffiths, Marinkovic, De Silva, Paljic, Harold, Keogh.
Substitutions: Maclaren for Harold (56’), Nichols for de Silva (67’).
Unused Substitutes: Thurtell, Kramar, Garcia.
Yellow Cards: Griffiths.
Red Cards: Nil.

Brisbane Roar have picked up a point on the road against league leading Perth Glory on Saturday night, despite ending the game with just 10 men after Corey Brown was dismissed.

Brisbane made four changes from the side which started against Beijing Guo’an on Wednesday night, with Polenz, Donachie, Brown and Henrique coming into the side in place of Hingert, DeVere, Stefanutto and Sarota.  There was also a start in midfield for Thomas Broich with his usual left wing role taken by Henrique, while Jean Carlos Solórzano was left on the bench.

Perth meanwhile made two changes from the side who drew with Melbourne City, with Danny de Silva and Dragan Paljic coming into the side for Sidnei Sciola and Denis Kramar. Captain Michael Thwaite reverted back to his usual central defensive role in a reshuffle which saw de Silva playing in a role playing off Keogh, with Harold and Paljic providing the width.

The game started with neither side really creating a lot, although it was the visiting side who controlled the game with a succession of corners and carved out the best chance with Henrique blazing over from the edge of the box.

It was however the home side who took the lead after 26 minutes when boom youngster Daniel de Silva was there to finish into an open goal.

Full-back Scott Jamieson put in a deep cross to the far post where Chris Harold outjumped Corey Brown and headed the ball beyond Theo who was rushing out, to the unmarked de Silva and the Roma bound youngster tapped in from 2 yards to open the scoring. The goal was eminently defendable, with both Brisbane central defenders failing to track the run of the youngster, leaving him in acre’s of space.

From there the home side were in the ascendency and marquee striker Andy Keogh went close to making it two after he lost his man, but his shot didn’t have the required power to beat Theo.

The final chance of the first half well to the visitors, with Thomas Broich letting rip from 25 yards, but his shot was tipped over the bar by Vukovic.

Brisbane started the second half on the front foot with some neat build-up play on the right hand side resulting in a good chance for Matt McKay, but his powerful shot was straight at Vukovic.

Brisbane were all over Perth at this point and it really wasn’t a surprise when the visitors drew level on the hour mark when Jean Carlos Solórzano was on hand to finish from close hand.

Brandon Borrello found himself in space on the right hand side, and his cross was inch perfect to find Solórzano on the edge of the six yard box. The Costa Rican then beat Vukovic from close range to net his sixth goal in his last seven games and level the scores.

Brisbane then found themselves in front just two minutes later when Matt McKay sliced his way through the Glory defence before rifling a shot past Vukovic and into the roof of the net.

The match then swung back and forward with neither side controlling the game, before the game turned in the favour of the home side with just fifteen minutes remaining.

Mitch Nichols played the ball forward on the right hand side towards Jamie Maclaren who had got goal-side of Corey Brown, and the young defender was left with little alternative other than to drag the young attacker back. Ben Williams then gave the youngster a straight red card, which left the Roar a man short for the final quarter hour.

Luke DeVere, making his first A-League appearance since Australia Day, 2011, was called upon off the bench to shore things up for the visitors.

That resistance however was broken with five minutes to play when Dino Djulbic smashed the ball into the net from close range to give the league leaders a share of the points.

Serbian winger Dejan Paljic whipped a cross in from deep which was over hit, but happened to cannon back off the crossbar and landed fortuitously at the feet of the big central defender.

The goal definitely had it’s share of luck involved, however Theo was beaten by the cross turn shot, and Djulbic was free enough on the edge of the six yard box to control and blast it into the roof of the net.

All up however both sides would probably settle for the point, particularly Brisbane after they were left a man short in the second half. For the Glory however, they’ve missed a chance to go five points clear at the top, and now their grip on top spot is loosening with the Victory having the chance to join them at the summit today.

Match Stats: via Fox Sports Football Match Centre

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Up next:
Brisbane fly out from Perth to Japan tomorrow in what is a must not lose Champions League game against Urawa Red Diamonds, who lost to Suwon last week in their opening game and followed that up on Saturday with a 2-0 loss to Gamba Osaka in the Japanese Super Cup.

In the A-League, Brisbane will face the equally fatigued Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday, in their first home game in over a month, and the Wanderers first trip back to Brisbane since the Grand Final 10 months ago.

The game will be one of a series of crucial home games for the Roar if they are to make the finals for a fifth consecutive season, with Melbourne City displacing the Roar in 6th with their win this weekend.

 


Round 19 Preview: Perth Glory vs. Brisbane Roar

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With Wednesday’s Champions League disappointment now in the past, it’s time turn the focus back onto the A-League as a massive week long road trip commences.

It will have been 15 days since Brisbane last played in the league when kick-off arrives after last weeks game was postponed and in that time thanks to other results Brisbane have maintained their spot in the top 6.

While things didn’t work out on the Gold Coast at the weekend, Brisbane have been on a solid run of form in the league since the resumption from the Asian Cup break with just one loss in five games.

The form of Jean Carlos Solórzano since January has been particularly pleasing, with the Costa Rican showing signs of the form which saw him score 11 goals in the 2010-11 season.

Despite the results in recent weeks, Brisbane haven’t scored in open play in over 180 minutes now, with their last goal from open play coming in stoppage time against Wellington.

Since then Brisbane beat the Jets with a goal from a corner and a free-kick, before beating Central Coast in their last game with two penalties.

Including the Champions League clash with Beijing, Brisbane have scored just two goals from open play in 360 minutes of football.

Selection wise Brisbane will make at least two changes to the side who lost to Beijing at the weekend, with ineligible visa duo Jerome Polenz and Jean Carlos Solórzano expected to come in.

They will likely replace Jack Hingert and Andrija Kaluderovic, with Hingert not even named in the extended squad of 17 for this weeks game. Other than that, Corey Brown and James Donachie could regain their spots in the side at the back, while there could be some rotation in midfield with Lustica a possibility.

It depends on how much rotation Thijssen opts for ahead of the trip to Japan next week.

Expected Brisbane XI: Theo, Polenz, North, Donachie, Brown, Sarota, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Broich, Solórzano.
Substitutes: Young, DeVere, Lustica, Henrique, Kaluderovic.
Omitted: Stefanutto, Petratos.

Perth have been one the league’s standout teams this season, sitting on top of the table by two points, although Melbourne Victory have a game in hand, and the West Australians will be desperate to grow that lead with Victory not playing until Sunday.

One of the main strengths of the Glory this season has been their quick transitions, where they sit back and hit teams, most notably in the top of the table clash with Melbourne in December.

With Perth, it’s tough to say, but I think last weeks experiment of Thwaite in midfield is likely to be shelved, with the experienced defender likely to replace Denis Kramer in the starting side.

Other than that it should be business as usual for the league leaders who will be looking to maintain that position for another week.

Expected Perth XI: Vukovic, Risdon, Djulbic, Thwaite, Jamieson, Griffiths, Marinkovic, Garcia, Nichols, Harold, Keogh.
Substitutes: Duncan, Kramer, Nichols, Sciola, Paljic.
Omitted: De Silva, Maclaren.

Recent form:
Brisbane: WWWLD
Perth: DDLDL
*A-League only

Top Scorer:
Brisbane: Henrique Silva (7)
Perth: Andy Keogh (9)

So far this season:
Round 2:
Perth Glory (3) Keogh 49(p.k), 74, 90+2
Brisbane Roar (2) Kurtishi 39’, Henrique 55’
Round 8:
Brisbane Roar (1) Henrique 86’
Perth Glory (1) Djulbic 20’

Perth have had the better of the results this season picking up four points out of six along the way, but both games have been competitive.

At times throughout the two games Brisbane played some impressive stuff against the West Australians, particularly when chasing the game at home in round 8.

It’s been at set pieces where Brisbane have fallen down against Perth this season, with Keogh’s winner in round two, and Djulbic’s opener in round 8 coming from corners.

All time record against Perth Glory:
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Also this season is the NYL finale, with the same two sides clashing in the West on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides remain in contention for the title, however they will need help from Newcastle earlier in the day. Going into the weekend, Perth and Melbourne City are joint top, with the Victorian side ahead on goal difference, with the Roar just two points back.

Kick-off in Perth is set down for 11am at the Ashfield football club for those travelling to Perth, or living in the west.


Former Players wrap- 26/02/2015

There’s been a fair bit of news around with former Brisbane players over the past week.

Kurtishi has a new club

Kurtishi has a new club

Starting with transfer news that has broken in the past 24 hours, with former Brisbane striker Mensur Kurtishi returning to Europe to join Italian Serie B side A.S Verase 1910.

Varese, who had a 0-0 draw away to Trapani at the weekend, sit 21st in the Serie B after 27 games and face a battle to avoid dropping down to the Serie C.

The positive thing for Varese is that there are just five points separating Verase (28pts) in 21st place and Bari (33pts) in 12th place.

Elsewhere in transfer news, Tommy Oar has confirmed he will depart FC Utrecht at the end of the season and the rumour mill around his next club continues to swirl.

The latest rumour links him to Dutch champions Ajax Amsterdam, with Oar refusing to be drawn on the speculation only saying that ‘they are a great team, but there’s many great teams in Holland and also Europe’.

Oar, 25, who has been linked to moves to Italy and Portugal in the past as well, has amassed 5 goals and 23 assists in his five years at Utrecht. He currently leads the Eredivise in assists this season.

Meanwhile in Germany, Robbie Kruse has undergone surgery on his ankle after he was injured in last months Asian Cup final.

The winger is set to undergo rehab for the next 2-3 months and is unlikely to play again this season.

Finally, Tahj Minnieccon has moved to the Philippines in order to rescue MFRC6948-e1424927757845his footballing career after being let go by the Wanderers and he has got off to a flying start.

The striker has four goals in his first two starts as he makes a return from a slight injury. Loyola will host Stallions on Saturday.

Here’s the tables for the most recent games of all former players:

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bandicam 2015-02-26 17-15-18-385


10 man Beijing beat Brisbane in ACL opener.

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Brisbane: Theo, Hingert, DeVere, North, Stefanutto, Sarota, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Broich, Kaluderovic.
Substitutions: Henrique for Sarota (61’), Petratos for Borrello (77’)
Unused Substitutes: Young, Brown, Lustica, Donachie, Brady.
Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Nil.

Beijing: Sen, Zheng, Ting, Yunlong, Hejing, Batalla, Chengdong, Xiaobin, Cheng, Fejzullahu, Damjanovic.
Substitutions: Yunqui for Cheng (82’), Dabao for Yunlong (85’), Jiayi for Batalla (90’).
Unused subs: Xiaotian, Lei, Xiaotian, Bouxan, Zhizhao.
Yellow Cards: Ting, Xiaobin.
Red Cards: Fejzullahu.
Brisbane have made a losing start to their 2015 Asian Champions League campaign after an injury time deflected free kick was enough to give the visitors the win.

Shao Jiayi, who had only just come on as a substitute, stepped up to take a free-kick just on the edge of the 18 yard box, and after it took a huge deflection off Kaluderovic it nestled in the back of the net.

Brisbane started the game in a positive fashion, controlling the possession and territory early, but they struggled to create the chances to go with their play.

Brisbane’s chances received a huge boost just shy of the half hour mark when Beijing’s Bosnian striker Emir Fejzullahu was sent off for stomping on Adam Sarota.

Following the send off Brisbane had a pair of good chances with Adam Sarota and Thomas Broich blazing over. They also had a penalty shout turned down when the referee refused to award after some holding in the penalty area.

Despite the introduction of Henrique playing further forward in place of Sarota, Brisbane still couldn’t break the visitors down in the second half, with the best chance falling to Andrija whose header went past the post.
It was then Andrija who was the unlucky man to deflect the ball into the net from a Shao Jiayi free-kick which gifted the visitors an unlikely win.

The games final chance arrived right at the death when Matt McKay’s shot went just over the bar via a deflection.

The truth of the matter is however, despite all of the possession Brisbane had, they just didn’t do enough in order to win the game.

Despite controlling the game for the most part, even before the send off, they just didn’t move the ball quickly enough to create the opportunities to break down what was a strong Beijing backline.

All of this makes it 8 straight games in the Champions League without a win, and the Roar now face an uphill task to get a first ever win in the competition, let alone out of the group.

In the groups other game last night, South Korean side Suwon Bluewings defeated Urawa Red Diamonds 2-1.

In next weeks Matchday 2 fixtures, Brisbane head to Japan to face the Reds in a game that neither side can afford to lose, while Beijing host Suwon in a game that could go a long way to securing either sides spot in the last 16.

Up next:
Before all that however, attention returns to the A-League action with a trip west to take on Perth on Saturday night in the start of a massive road trip which includes that trip to Japan.


ACL Matchday one preview: Brisbane Roar vs. Beijing Guo’an

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Brisbane’s second AFC Champions League gets underway tomorrow night down on the Gold Coast with Brisbane playing host to the 2014 Chinese Super League runner up- Beijing Guo’an.

Brisbane will be looking for their first win in the continental competition, with four draws and three defeats in their previous seven games.

The Roar finished third in their 2012 group containing eventual champions Ulsan Hyundai, FC Tokyo and Beijing Guo’an, before losing to Buriram United in a 2013 qualifier.

Brisbane have had 12 days to prepare for this game after Friday’s game against Melbourne was rained out, so they should be more than ready to play.

Selection wise there will be changes, with Jerome Polenz out of the ACL squad due to foreigner limits, so one of Jack Hingert or Daniel Bowles will come into the side.

The other change to the side who beat Central Coast will be upfront, where the injured and not selected Jean Carlos Solórzano will likely be replaced by Andrija Kaluderovic.

Top scorer Henrique is likely to make his return from injury from the bench.

With extended benches in the Champions League, there are two other spots available, which should open up an opportunity for youngsters Devante Clut and Shannon Brady, who have excelled in the NYL this season.

Expected Brisbane XI: Theo, Hingert, North, Donachie, Brown, Sarota, Brattan, McKay, Borrello, Kaluderovic, Broich.
Substitutes: Young, Bowles, Stefanutto, Lustica, Clut, Brady, Henrique.

Beijing:
It’s tough to know who will play and how they will approach the game given that the Chinese side are still in there pre-season, a fact which gives Brisbane an advantage for this tie.

The only relevant information that can be found regarding tactics is last weeks qualifier against Bangkok Glass- where they lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Starting XI vs. Bangkok Glass: Hou Sen, Zhao Hejing, Lei Tenlong, Xu Yunlong, Zhou Ting, Song Bouxan, Darko Matic, Pablo Batalla, Zhang Chengdong, Dae-Sung Ha, Dejan Damjanovic.

For more information on Beijing Guo’an, read our look at the Chinese club from earlier today here.

All time record against Bejing Guo’an:
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Elsewhere in the opening Matchday in Group G, with Suwon Bluewings hosting Urawa Red Diamonds in Korea, kicking off at the same time.

With a tough trip to Japan to come next week, in addition to an exhaustive schedule in the league coming up, three points tomorrow night are almost essential for Brisbane to make inroads in this years competition.

Kick-off at Gold Coast Stadium, Robina is set down for 7.30pm.


Getting to know- Beijing Guo’an

I did this previously for the 2012 campaign and the 2013 qualifier as a way to take a look at the opposition and find out more about them, and decided to bring it back for another campaign.

Today with Brisbane’s campaign just over 24 hours from kicking off, we take a look at a side that Brisbane have come up against previously in the Champions League.

History:
Beijing Football club has existed since 1951, where they were reasonably successful, however at that stage they were only considered to be a semi-professional club.

In that semi-professional era of Chinese football, Beijing won the league on five occasions (1957, 1958, 1973, 1981 and 1984), and the Chinese FA Cup once in 1985.

They have been considered to be a professional club since 1992, since which they’ve won the league just once- 2009. They have however won the FA Cup on three occasions. (1996, 1997, 2003,) and the Super Cup twice (1998, 2004).

Those results, in addition to consistent top four league finishes has made Beijing regular fixtures in the Champions League, with the 2015 edition their 7th appearance in the competition.

Previously however, they’ve only made it out of the group on two occasions (2010 , 2013) and they’ve never gone beyond the round of 16.

In 2014 they finished third in a group consisting of FC Seoul, Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Central Coast Mariners.

Manager: Gregorio Manzano
The 58 year old Spaniard arrived in Beijing for the start of last seasons Chinese Super League season and guided the club from the capital to a second placed finish in his first season.

Manzano, who only had a brief playing career which never reached any great heights, started his managerial career at the age of 27 in his native Spain with Talavera in the third tier in the 1996-97 season.

After achieving promotion with Talavera and then Toledo, Manzano progressed to the top tier of Spanish football- taking over the Real Valladolid and achieving a respectable 8th placed finish.

Coaching stints with Racing Santander, Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca (three times), Athletico Madrid (twice), Sevilla and Malaga over the next decade followed with his only success coming in the 2003 Copa Del Rey with Mallorca.

It was at the end of the 2013 season, where he oversaw Mallorca’s relegation from the top tier when he opted for a new challenge, opting to take his first job outside of his homeland.

Beijing Guo’an squad:
Goalkeepers: 1) Zhao Shi, 12) Hou Sen, 15) Shi Xiaotian, 22) Yang Zhi.

Defenders: 2) Li Yunqui, 3) Li Lei, 4) Zhou Ting, 7) Yang Yun, 13) Xu Yunlong, 14) Jin Pengxiang, 18) Lang Zheng, 20) Zhang Xinxin, 24) Li Hanbo, 28) Zhang Chengdong, 30) Lei Tenlong, 31) Zhao Hejing.

Midfielders: 5) Darko Matic, 6) Zhang Xiaobin, 8 ) Piao Cheng, 11) Song Bouxan, 16) Ha Dae-Sung, 17) Pablo Batalla, 23) Chen Zhizhao, 26) Wang Hao, 29) Shao Jiayi, 35) Li Tixaing.

Forwards: 9) Tan Tiancheng, 10) Dejan Damjanovic, 19) Yu Dabao.

Players to watch:
Dejan Damjanovic: The 33 year old Montenegrin striker has some resume, with a highly impressive 116 goals in 181 games for FC Seoul over a 5 year span. He made the jump to the Chinese Super League last season, and after a slow start with Jiangsu Sainty, he was transferred to Beijing where he regained his scoring touch with 10 goals in 15 games.

Pablo Batalla: It’s the foreign players who make the difference in these sides, and Batalla is another who is capable. The Argentine, who spent 5 years in Turkey with Bursaspor (48 goals in 165 games) is a lively midfielder who is capable of opening up defences. Scored 8 in 20 games last season.

Batalla, the aforementioned Damjanovic, in addition to the midfield duo of Serbian Darko Matic, and Korean Ha Dae-Sung will form the spine of the Beijing side.

Xu Yunlong: Captain of Beijing Guo’an and the glue of the defensive unit. The now 36 year old has amassed 383 appearances for his hometown club, and will be key for the visiting side in a defensive sense.

 Zhang Chengdong: The right back was an ever-present in Alain Perrin’s China team which made the ¼ finals in last months Asian Cup. Zhang was the only member of the Beijing squad to take part in the finals. Zhang, along with Xu Yunlong and fellow veteran Zhou Ting will form part of an experienced and formidable defence.

Despite Brisbane’s previous experience with the club from China’s capital, and there relatively unimpressive ACL record they will still prove a formidable test tomorrow night.

They’ve got a couple of highly impressive foreign players, and a coach in Manzano who has achieved cup success with relatively week squads previously.

They don’t figure to pose as much of a threat as Suwon or Urawa, but Beijing are a dangerous side, and not one to take lightly.


Brisbane’s busy upcoming schedule

With the start of Brisbane’s second Asian Champions League this week, Brisbane are set to embark on a run of fixtures the likes of which the club hasn’t faced before.

Just including the games that Brisbane are confirmed to play, the Roar today start a run of games that will see them play 17 games in 72 days, a run which bookends the 2015 Asian Champions League campaign- with the final game of the run set for May 5 against Urawa.

That however doesn’t include the possibility of up to three A-League finals and another two Asian Champions League games. Should Brisbane make it all the way to the Grand Final, and the knockout round of the Champions League Brisbane could play up to 22 games in 94 days.

Here’s a graphic that illustrates the task ahead of Brisbane, including games from both the A-League and the Champions League, in addition to potential A-League Finals and ACL knockout games.

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This run of games doesn’t include the rumoured game against a Spanish La Liga side –one of Sevilla, Valencia or Villarreal-, a game which is likely to take place either in the last week of May or the first week of June.

There are a couple of weeks where things get tricky, particularly around ACL matchday three where Brisbane play in Sydney on a Sunday afternoon before backing up against Suwon on the Gold Coast just over 48 hours later.

The game was originally scheduled for the Saturday night but was moved due to World Cup cricket across the road at the SCG, and despite requests to move the game- FFA have refused to budge.

Instead the FFA tried to lobby the AFC to shift Brisbane’s Champions League game to the Wednesday- a request which fell on deaf ears.

Things are just as tricky in relation to matchday 5, where Brisbane face a crucial Tuesday night game ain Beijing, before returning to Brisbane for a Friday night clash against Newcastle in the final round of the league which could determine their finals fate.

Without wanting to look too far ahead, matchday six of the Champions League could also be a busy week, with the potential of playing an elimination final -probably on the road- on a Sunday, before playing Urawa on the Tuesday before possibly backing up on a Friday in a Semi Final -again likely to be on the road- should Brisbane get that far.

Whatever is to come in the next three months, there’s plenty of football to be played, with some massive clashes to come- starting with a big Champions League tie on Wednesday night.