Victory edge past Brisbane in catch-up gamePosted: April 15, 2015
Brisbane Roar (1) McKay 51’
Melbourne Victory (2) Valeri 17’, Berisha 22’
10,642 at Lang Park, Brisbane.
Brisbane: Young, Hingert, DeVere, Donachie, Brown, Brattan, McKay, Broich, Petratos, Solórzano, Kaluderovic.
Substitutions: Lustica for Solórzano (64’), Brady for Petratos (75’), Jackson for DeVere (84’)
Unused Substitutes: Chalmers, Clut.
Yellow Cards: Donachie.
Red Cards: Nil
Melbourne: Thomas, Geria, Ansell, Delpierre, Georgievski, Broxham, Valeri, Milligan, Ben Khalfallah, Barbarouses, Berisha.
Substitutions: Mahazi for Geria (75’), Thompson for Barbarouses (77’), Pain for Ben Khalfallah (87’).
Unused Substitutes: Spinella, Makarounas.
Yellow Cards: Milligan, Berisha, Broxham, Barbarouses.
Red Cards: Nil.
An injury ravaged Brisbane suffered yet another blow with young attacker Brandon Borrello after he felt his knee in the warm up. It’s believed that it was a result of the slight injury he picked up in Adelaide at the weekend.
Both sides starting with an attacking mindset and it was the home side who nearly took the lead with Luke Brattan’s free-kick deflecting off the wall forcing a diving save from Thomas.
It wasn’t long after that and the away side had opened the scoring, with a run inside from Fahid Ben Khalfallah towards the edge of the box, and with the Tunisian winger tacking the defenders attention Carl Valeri ghosted forward and unleashed a shot from 25 yards which rifled past Young into the bottom corner.
A focal point of the game was always going to be the return to Brisbane of Besart Berisha and after a quiet opening 20 minutes the Albanian showed the home fans what they were missing.
Firstly, he had a tussle with Luke Brattan where he seemed to grab the Roar midfielder around the neck, resulting in a yellow card. Berisha however quickly returned to doing what he does best, tapping a Ben Khalfallah lob in from close range to double the scoring in the 22nd minute.
Throw in some dogged work closing down across the front line and it was a typical Besart Berisha game. James Donachie probably wont look back on the goal with any fondness however, as it was the young defender who played the Albanian onside.
Right at the start of the second half, another former Roar striker nearly found the mark, with only the post denying Kosta Barbarouses after he beat the offside trap.
Brisbane started the second half in the ascendency however and were rewarded for their efforts with a goal 5 minutes into the half. Kaluderovic got a yard of space inside the box, and his low cross found Matt McKay who beat Thomas from close range.
Brisbane pushed hard for an equaliser late on, but they lacked the cutting edge and perhaps a bit of composure in the front third to create the clear chances required with Thomas largely untested in the Victory goal.
The main takeaway from the Victory I noticed was the impact that Mathieu Delpierre had on their backline, with the Frenchman marshalling the backline expertly including a couple of last ditch interceptions to prevent Kaluderovic being through on goal. In previous weeks Kaluderovic would of scored at least once in the first half tonight if it wasn’t for his interceptions.
One final point, after a few weeks around the first team including on the bench, it was good to see young defender Lachlan Jackson come off the bench for his debut. Jackson is the 109th player to represent Brisbane Roar in a competitive game and equipped himself well in his late cameo.
Jackson is the 7th debutant this season following Daniel Bowles, Jamie Young, Mensur Kurtishi, Shannon Brady, Jerome Polenz and Andrija Kaluderovic.
Up next: These two sides will meet again on Saturday evening in the penultimate round of the competition. Victory could all but secure the premiership with a second win, while Brisbane must beat the Victory if they are to qualify for a 5th successive finals series on merit.