Brisbane win in Saitama

Urawa Red Diamonds v Brisbane Roar - AFC Champions League Group G

Urawa Reds (0)
Brisbane Roar (1) Borrello 3’
13,527 at Saitama World Cup Stadium, Japan

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

Urawa Reds: Nishikawa (gk), Kaga, Ugajin, Nasu, Makino, Kashiwagi, Suzuki, Ljubijankic, Abe (c), Koroki, Moriwaki.
Substitutions: Tsukasa for Kenichi (46’), Ishihara for Ljubijankic (46’), Lee for Suzuki (83’).
Unused subs: Otani, Aoki, Muto, Wataru.
Yellow Cards: Nil.
Red Cards: Nasu.

At the ninth attempt Brisbane Roar have won a game in Asia! Brandon Borrello’s early goal after just two minutes was enough to gift the Roar the win over their Japanese opponents.

Brisbane obviously started the game well, possibly taking advantage of the J-League not starting yet, with Thomas Broich sliding the ball through to Borrello who shot first time and beat Nishikawa at the near post.

From when the coverage kicked in after seven minutes, Brisbane were calm and assured on the ball, maintain a fair share of the ball while also looking very dangerous going forward in transition.

It was the Roar’s best performance in Asia to date. Urawa stuggled to create chances in the opening half, while the Roar nearly doubled their lead 10 minutes before the break when Broich pounced on a poor throw, only for Henrique’s shot to be blocked.

After a poor first half Urawa coach Mihalio Petrovic made a double switch introducing attackers Tsukasa and Ishihara to try and liven up on the home side, and while they looked better they still struggled to create a clear chance.

The game turned favourable towards the visitors in the 66th minute when defender Daisuke Nasu was sent off for a last man foul, dragging back Andrija Kaluderovic.

After struggling to create chances last week against the 10 men of Beijing, Brisbane kept their foot on the gas and created numerous chances against the undermanned and struggling Japanese side.

Kaluderovic forced a good save from Nishikawa, while Henrique was denied by the leg of keeper. Urawa pushed forward late on, with their best chances falling to substitutes Tsukasa and Lee, both of whom blazed over from good positions.

The net result is that Brisbane are well and truly alive in the Group G, picking up their first win in Asia at the 9th attempt. They’ve also improved what is a pretty good road record in Asia in truth, with Brisbane losing just one of their 5 away games to date. (Drew with Ulsan, Beijing, Buriram*, lost to FC. Tokyo) It’s the home games where Brisbane have struggled, with three losses and a draw from four games.

Elsewhere tonight Beijing Guo’an made it two wins from two, to sit top of Group G after Serbian striker Dejan Damjanovic scored the games only goal in the 65th minute.

The Koreans saw Yang Sang-Min send off for two bookable offences, so the defender will miss the trip to Queensland next month.

Matchday 3:
March 17: Beijing Guo’an vs. Urawa Red Diamonds
March 18: Brisbane Roar vs. Suwon Bluewings


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