Brisbane keep Champions League hopes alive

(CFP/Getty Images AsiaPac)

(CFP/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Beijing Guoan (0)
Brisbane Roar (1) Kaluderovic 39′
35,578 at Workers Stadium, Beijing.

Brisbane: Young, Hingert, North, Donachie, Brown, Brattan, McKay, Clut, Broich, Borrello, Kaluderovic.
Substitutions: Bowles for North (79’).
Unused Substitutes: Chalmers, Jackson, Sarota, Lustica, Brady, Petratos.
Yellow Cards: Brown, Donachie, Clut, Borrello.
Red Cards: Nil.

Beijing: Zhi, Yunqui, Yunlong, Pengxiang, Hejing, Dae Sung, Bouxan, Batalla, Dabao, Fejzullahu, Damjanovic.
Substitutions: Lei for Yunlong (46’), Zhizhao for Fejzullahu (68’), Jiayi for Dabao (81’).
Unused Substitutes: Sen, Xiaobin, Cheng, Tiancheng.
Yellow Cards: Dae Sung, Dabao, Lei.
Red Cards: Nil.

Brisbane Roar have kept their 2015 AFC Champions League hopes alive with a hard fought win away to Beijing Guoan. Former Beijing striker Andrija Kaluderovic popped up with the all important goal, five minutes before half time after a slick through ball from Devante Clut.

Beijing started out the more aggressive of the two sides, and had a couple of great chances to open the scoring, however Fejzullahu and Yu Dabao were wasteful in front of goal with Brisbane’s back-line in particular taking time to settle into the game.

Brisbane’s first chance of the game fell to Devante Clut, however the youngster making his second start in the competition, however he couldn’t keep his shot down after some good lead up play on the left hand side.

It was however the youngster who set up the defining moment in the game five minutes before the break, with his through ball finding Kaluderovic, who managed to stay onside before placing his shot into the corner of the net.

With a halftime injury to defensive leader Xu Yunlong, the home side started the second half sluggishly and could have been 2-0 down but for Brandon Borrello blazing over the bar from a good position.

Chasing the game, and a spot in the last 16, the home side became more and more dominant as the second half wore on, however they struggled to create any clear cut chances, with the back four of Brisbane along with Jamie Young defending strongly.

The result validates the decision to rest players at the weekend, with only Jamie Young and Jade North backing up from Saturday’s loss to the Victory. Given the short turnaround before Friday’s game with Newcastle, we may see a vastly different side once again.

Elsewhere tonight in Group G, Suwon booked a place in the last 16 with a 2-1 come from behind win away to Urawa Reds. Zlatan Llubijankic opened the scoring for the home side, before late goals from Ko Cha-Won and Brazilian Kaio turned the game around.

The result means that Suwon are definitely through to the last 16, while Urawa are officially out of contention. Despite currently sitting top of the group, Beijing are still not certain of progression, as bizarre as that seems.

With head to head records usurping goal difference as the primary means of separating teams tied on points, Suwon –who have a superior H2H record over Brisbane- are through, while Brisbane and Beijing are tied on H2H with both sides winning away from home 1-0.

That means that it will come down to goal difference after all between Brisbane and Beijing, with the Roar having to overturn a five goal difference on the final matchday, while also hoping that Suwon do the business at home against Beijing. Here’s the table:

bandicam 2015-04-22 01-07-01-721

Matchday 6 fixtures
Games to be played on 05/05/2015
Brisbane Roar vs. Urawa Red Diamonds
Suwon Samsung Bluewings vs. Beijing Guoan

Up next
Brisbane return home for the final game of the home and away season against Newcastle on Friday night, in a game which will have little bearing on the final league table.

In Asia, it’s a two week break before Urawa head down to Australia for a Matchday 6 clash on the Gold Coast. That could be a tricky week for the Roar, with their elimination final set to be on the previous Friday, and the potential for a Semi-Final clash just 48 hours later should Brisbane progress past week 1 of the finals.

2 Comments on “Brisbane keep Champions League hopes alive”

  1. brisman says:

    Being an eternal pessimist I think the chances of a contrived draw between the top two teams seems very likely.

    • Scott says:

      It’s always possible they play for the 0-0- but the ball is in Suwon’s court here. If they want home advantage in the last 16, they need to win

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