Another Brisbane player has announced his departure from the Roar, with long serving left back Shane Stefanutto calling time on a long and distinguished career.
Stefanutto, 36, calls time on his career after spending time with Brisbane Strikers, Lillestrom, Lyn Oslo, North Queensland Fury and Brisbane Roar. In a statement on a Roar website this morning, Stefanutto spoke about his journey at the club.
“When it’s all done, you realise how privileged you were to be in a position like this. I think back to all the wonderful times we have had, the premierships, the trophies . . . all the friends and the battles we had on the field, they are all special things. It is something I will definitely miss now but have enjoyed across the whole journey. The club has a culture – something that’s really special.
It’s 23 people who get an opportunity to fulfil that role. They should see that as a real privilege. “Now that I am not going to be part of that, I realise what a wonderful opportunity I had. It’s sad that I am not going to be playing any more but I am excited for those players who will be Brisbane Roar next season and years beyond. I wish them, the club, its members, fans and sponsors all the best for the future.”
After growing up in North Queensland, Stefanutto travelled down to Brisbane as a junior to link up with the Brisbane Strikers, where he made 124 appearances for the NSL club before departing for Europe after the demise of the old league.
That European career took Stefanutto to Norway where over five seasons he played for Lillestrom and Lyn Oslo, winning the 2007 Norwegian Cup with Lillestrom. During that time in Europe, Stefanutto became a fringe member of the national side, going on to make three appearances for the Socceroos, the last of which came in June 2009 against Japan.
After returning home in 2009 to join the newly formed North Queensland Fury, Stefanutto suffered a serious knee injury against Perth Glory, ending both his season and his chances of representing Australia at the World Cup.
That was also the last time Stefanutto would represent the Fury, after he agreed to a move back to Brisbane, joining Ange Postecoglou’s new looked Brisbane Roar for the 2010-11 season.
Over his time here in Brisbane, Stefanutto formed a wonderful combination down the left hand side with Thomas Broich and Matt McKay, leading to countless chances and goals.
Injures and the emergence of Corey Brown have seen opportunities dry up over the past couple of seasons, but he’s still been dependable as ever this season with 17 appearances from 30 games.
All up Shane retires after 138 appearances for Brisbane Roar over six seasons, which puts him sixth in terms of the all time appearances list. Only Matt McKay, Thomas Broich, Massimo Murdocca, Henrique and Michael Theo have represented the Roar more times.
Stefanutto also joins a group of just 10 players to have played 100 times for the club, with the aforementioned six being joined by Mitch Nichols, Ivan Franjic, Matt Smith and Luke Brattan.
Shane’s time with Brisbane has also coincided with the greatest period in the clubs history to date, with six successive finals appearances, three Asian Champions League campaigns, three Championships, two Premierships and breaking the Australian sporting record for games without a defeat.
There have been a few constants throughout that run, one of them has been having a reliable left back bombing forward to create overlaps and space for our creative players. An unsung hero of the side but an important one, Thanks for the memories Shane.
Player number- 67
Debut- Round 1, 2010/11 (Gold Coast United- A)
Games- 135 (3)
Honours- 3x Championship (2010/11, 2011/12 & 2013/14), 2x Premiership (2010/11 & 2013/14)
Jean Carlos Solórzano has today announced his departure from Brisbane Roar for a second time. The statement, which he posted on social media this afternoon, thanks the staff, players and supporters for his time at the club. Here’s the statement in full.
“I would like to thank the Brisbane Roar supporters, staff and team mates for the time at the club.
Sad because this is not the way I would have liked to have left the club, but at the same time really grateful to have been apart of the history and success of Brisbane Roar.
Brisbane has had such an impact on my life, not only on the pitch but my personal life as it has become the place that I can call home.
Once again thank you”
Jean Carlos Solórzano.
It’s worth noting that Brisbane are yet to confirm the departure of Solórzano, however given his injury plagued second spell here in Brisbane, and his dropping down the pecking order under John Aloisi and his contract expiring next month it makes sense.
Jean Carlos initially arrived in Brisbane in spring 2010 as a key part of Ange Postecoglou’s rebuild of the Roar on a one year loan from Costa Rican club LD Alajuelense. Injury prevented him from making an appearance until round four, however he quickly settled in and went on to score 11 goals in 25 games for Brisbane on the way to the clubs first silverware.
After Brisbane failed to come to terms with Alajuelense for a permanent move, Solórzano moved on loan to Melbourne Victory, before spells back in his homeland with Alajuelense and then Puntarenas.
Then, three years after departing Brisbane, Solórzano turned up at training in January 2014, with new Brisbane manager Mike Mulvey giving him a trial period, and after impressing he signed a deal through the end of the season.
While he was lacking fitness, Solórzano became a valuable member of the matchday squad off the substitutes bench, making five appearances – one start- on the way to the clubs second double winning season.
Those appearances were enough to convince Mulvey to give Solórzano a fresh two year contract extension in the off-season, as the Roar went about retooling their front third following the departure of Besart Berisha.
While the 2010-11 season was a tumultuous one for Brisbane as a whole, it was a good one for Solórzano, who netted seven goals in 26 appearances for the Roar side who struggled in the league to a seventh placed finish.
This season however has seen opportunities dry up under new boss John Aloisi, with Solórzano limited to just the seven appearances this season –two starts-, the last of which came back in round 13 against Perth Glory.
All up Solórzano leaves Brisbane with 62 appearances to his name – 24th in Roar history- and 18 goals – 9th most in Roar history-, having played a key part in delivering four of the clubs five A-League trophies to date. Best of luck in the future Jean Carlos, your contributions here will be remembered.
Jean Carlos Solórzano
Player number- 72
Debut- Round 4, 2010/11 (Newcastle Jets- A)
Games- 34 (28)
With Brisbane’s season now over the player departures have begun, with young midfielder Devante Clut given an early release from the final month of his contract as he pursues a two year contract with Newcastle Jets.
Clut, now 20, made 21 appearances for Brisbane -4 goals- all up since making his debut in round 16 of the 2013-14 season in a home game against Wellington Phoenix. By scoring on his debut, Clut became just the 8th player to achieve that feat.
After making his debut against Wellington under Mike Mulvey, Clut was not seen again in the first team for another twelve months after a stellar National Youth League campaign saw him catch the eye of new boss Frans Thijssen.
At the end of that season, Clut emerged as a starting XI player in both the Asian Champions League campaign and the clubs A-League finals run, most notably scoring two long range goals in a 3-3 draw with Suwon.
After starring once again in a post-season friendly with Villarreal, where Clut scored another brace, he found himself on the outer this season under new boss John Aloisi.
This season has seen Clut slip down the pecking order in a strong midfield group, with just the 9 substitute appearances in all competitions this season, as he failed to convince Aloisi of his ability to fit into his midfield.
That lack of football has seen Clut opt for a move back to NSW where he links up with a Newcastle side that struggled at times for creativity and goals this season, so there’s likely to be an opportunity for Devante to establish himself as a starting regular in the Hunter. Best of luck to Devante in the future.
Facts and Figures
Player number- 101
Debut- Round 19, 2013-14
Games- 8 (13)
Honours- 2013/14 Premiership, 2013/14 Championship.
Brisbane striker Jamie Maclaren wrapped up a fantastic season in style by winning the A-League Young Player of the Year at the Dolan-Warren awards night in Sydney. Teammates Dimitri Petratos and Brandon Borrello were also nominated, as were Melbourne’s Jason Geria and Adelaide’s Stefan Mauk, but it was the Brisbane no.9 – who netted 20 times this season- who won the award.
Maclaren becomes just the second Brisbane player to win the award, after Tommy Oar was victorious in the 2009-10 season where he was a standout on the left hand side before departing for FC Utrecht. Brisbane also won the A-League fair play award for a record 6th time for accruing the lowest tally of yellow and red cards for the home and away season. Brisbane previously won the award for four successive seasons from 2010/11 through 2013-14 in addition to the 2008-09 season.
The biggest awards of the night, the Johnny Warren and Julie Dolan medals –awarded to the A-League and W-League player of the year respectively, and the race was close. In the A-League Perth’s marquee man Diego Castro (34pts), narrowly beat Melbourne City talisman Aaron Mooy (33) to win to become the second Glory player to win the top award after Bobby Despotovski in the leagues inaugural season. Brisbane’s Jamie Maclaren and City’s Bruno Fornaroli finished in equal third on 27 points.
Canberra’s Ashleigh Sykes beat the likes of City’s Lisa de Vanna and Brisbane’s Katrina Gorry to take home the Julie Dolan medal after a solid season which saw Canberra finish second before losing their Semi-Final to Sydney FC.
In the A-League, Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli collected the A-Leagues Golden Boot while his teammate took home the goalkeeper of the year award. Premiers Adelaide didn’t go home empty handed, with Guillermo Amor taking home the award for coach of the year, while fellow Grand Finalists Western Sydney Wanderers took home the inaugural Community Champion award and Jarred Gillett was named referee of the year for a third time.
Despite winning the wooden spoon for the first time in club history, there was some success for the Central Coast Mariners, with Roy O’Donovan’s volley against Adelaide United in round 25 defeating more fancied options to claim goal of the year.
Undefeated Champions of the W-League Melbourne City might not have seen of their many stars win the Julie Dolan medal, but outstanding midfielder Kim Little did continue the success for City in their debut season. Former Roar striker Larissa Crummer, who joined City in the off-season, then won two awards of her own with young player of the year, and the Golden boot thanks to her 11 goals. City also won the fair play award to round out a very successful debut season.
In other awards, Newcastle manger Craig Deans took out coach of the year honours after the unfancied Jets to 5th and narrowly missing the finals, while Perth Glory’s American import Vanessa Di Bartolo won goal of the year for her sensational lob against Brisbane Roar in Round 5. Meanwhile young Adelaide United goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage won the goalkeeper of the year award, while Kate Jacewicz won the referee of the year award for the sixth time in the eight seasons of the W-League.
In the National Youth League, Adelaide’s Dylan Smith took out the player of the year award. Melbourne Victory’s young striker Joey Katebian took out the Golden Boot while the fair play award was taken home by the Newcastle Jets.
A-League award Winners 2015-16
Johnny Warren Medal- Diego Castro (Perth Glory)
Young Player of the Year- Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar)
Golden Boot- Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City)
Goalkeeper of the Year- Thomas Sorensen (Melbourne City)
Coach of the Year- Guillermo Amor (Adelaide United)
Goal of the Year- Roy O’Donovan (Central Coast Mariners)
Fair Play Award- Brisbane Roar
Referee of the Year- Jarred Gillett
Community Champion Award- Western Sydney Wanderers
W-League Award Winners 2015-16
Julie Dolan Medal- Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United)
W-League players’ player- Kim Little (Melbourne City)
Young Player of the Year- Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City)
Goalkeeper of the Year- Kaitlyn Savage (Adelaide United)
Golden Boot- Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City)
Coach of the Year- Craig Deans (Newcastle Jets)
Goal of the Year- Vanessa Di Bernardo (Perth Glory)
Fair Play Award- Melbourne City
Referee of the Year- Kate Jacewicz
National Youth League Award Winners 2015-16
Player of the Year- Dylan Smith (Adelaide United)
Golden Boot- Joey Katebian (Melbourne Victory)
Fair Play Award- Newcastle Jets
After last weeks gripping 2-1 come from behind win over Melbourne Victory in the Elimination Final, Brisbane Roar find themselves 90 –or 120- minutes away from a fourth Grand Final appearance.
Despite getting the result however, the performance from Brisbane –particularly in the first half- was below par, with the Victory controlling the majority of the game with Brisbane uncharacteristically struggling to hold the ball. That changed in the second half for the most part, with Corona taking control of the game, but if Brisbane star the game sluggishly again this week it’s unlikely the Wanderers will be as forgiving.
While the Wanderers have the advantage of a week off, that is somewhat negated in this Semi-Final due to the fact that Brisbane will have had 9 days in-between their win over Melbourne and the game with the Wanderers.
Despite West Sydney only being in just their fourth season, these two sides have already built up quite the on-field rivalry with two finals clashes and other landmarks occurring in this fixture. It was at Suncorp in round 4 of the 2012-13 season that the Wanderers picked up their first ever win in the A-League thanks to a Mark Bridge goal, while fast-forwarding to the end of the season they also achieved their first ever finals win against the Roar. A game which was sealed by a delightful Shinji Ono goal which sent the Wanderers to their first Grand Final in their maiden season, and ended Brisbane’s hopes of a three-peat the week before the decider.
Fast-forward 12 months ahead and after Brisbane beat the Wanderers to the Premiers Plate the two sides lined up in the 2014 decider up here in Brisbane. After an edgy first half, Western Sydney looked to be on course for redemption after losing the previous years decider after Matthew Spiranovic’s near post header put the away side in front.
The game however then turned in favour of the home side with Nikolai Topor-Stanley forced off with injury, and with the Wanderers not having a specialist central defender on the bench, Brisbane took advantage with Besart Berisha leaping highest to head home the equaliser in the last 10 minutes to send the game to extra time. In that extra time period, Brisbane had all the momentum and got the winner early in the second period of 15 minutes when Henrique slotted home from near the penalty spot to give Brisbane a third Championship in four seasons and the Wanderers with back to back defeats in the decider, and some sole searching ahead of a big ACL clash just days later.
Switching focus back to the present and the key for this game could loom in both sides attack, with both sides possessing clinical strikers who are in form at the right time of the season. Despite being labelled a ‘super sub’ for large parts of the season, Brendan Santalab has four goals in his last two stars helping the Wanderers to their top two position.
Brisbane meanwhile are spearheaded by youngster Jamie Maclaren, whose 18 goals so far this season is the highest of any local player in the competitions history. Maclaren has also proven to be a dangerous man for Brisbane in this fixture, with five of his strikes coming against this weekends opponent.
This season against Western Sydney Wanderers Many people have stated that Brisbane have a winning record this season against the Wanderers, while in the league that’s true, however overall the ledger is all square with both sides winning two games a piece.
FFA Cup Round of 32
Western Sydney Wanderers (1) Mebrahtu 69’
Brisbane Roar (0)
The first of four meetings this season between these two sides took place in mid-August down in Penrith, right around the time when uncertainty surrounding Brisbane’s future was reaching its height. Despite that Brisbane controlled large parts of the game, particularly in the first half, before a goal midway through the second half from Gol Gol Mebrahtu settled the game for the home side.
Western Sydney Wanderers (1) Nichols 13’
Brisbane Roar (3) Maclaren 9’, 34’, Bowles 23’
Six weeks later it was time for the start of the season, and Brisbane got off to a flying start scoring the seasons first goal inside the opening 10 minutes after a defensive blunder from the Wanderers played Maclaren in. Western Sydney responded quickly with a goal down our right side through Mitch Nichols, before a pair of goals from corners gave the Roar a commanding lead. The second half was a more even affair with the Wanderers pushing for a way back into the game, but it was the visitors who had the best chance of the half.
Western Sydney Wanderers (2) Bridge 29’, Nichols 79’
Brisbane Roar (1) Maclaren 36’
Round 9 saw Brisbane’s third trip to Western Sydney for the season right in the middle of the supporter/FFA standoff after media reports surrounding crowd trouble, which created a different backdrop for the game. The home side however weren’t affected with a flowing move down the left finished by Mark Bridge before an equaliser by Jamie Maclaren levelled the scores going into half time. Similar to round one, the second half was an even contest before a long range strike from Mitch Nichols sealing the points for the Wanderers.
Brisbane Roar (3) Maclaren 5’, 81’, Petratos 84’
Western Sydney Wanderers (2) Andreu 74’ (p.k), Castelen 78’
The most recent meeting between the two sides took place in early March where Brisbane Roar got off to a flying start with Jamie Maclaren getting his 4th of the season against the Wanderers at the near post with a flick on. After the game levelled out, defensive errors- a trend of previous games- re-emerged with Michael Theo conceding a penalty for the equaliser, before a Shane Stefanutto slip allowed Castelen in for the Wanderers second. From then, Brisbane completed a miraculous comeback, with a second on the night for Jamie Maclaren getting the equaliser, before Henrique capitalised on a poor pass from Dimas, playing in Petratos for the winner.
Brisbane Roar squad
1) Michael Theo, 3) Shane Stefanutto, 5) Corey Brown, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 17) Matt McKay, 18) Javier Hervas, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 24) Tommy Oar 28) Brandon Borrello. *two to be omitted.
Western Sydney Wanderers squad
2) Shannon Cole, 3) Scott Jamieson, 4) Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5) Brendan Hamill, 6) Mitch Nichols, 7) Romeo Castelen, 8) Dimas Delgado, 10) Dario Vidosic, 11) Brendon Santalab, 12) Scott Neville, 15) Kearyn Baccus, 16) Jaushua Sotirio, 17) Alberto Aguilar, 18) Andreu Mayoral, 19) Mark Bridge, 20) Andrew Redmayne, 21) Jacob Pepper, 30) Liam Reddy.
Brisbane XI- Young, Hingert, North, Bowles, Brown, Petratos, Corona, McKay, Oar, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Theo, Donachie, Lustica, Borrello, Henrique.
Omitted- Stefanutto, Hervas.
After last weeks dramatic win over Melbourne in the Elimination Finals, John Aloisi is highly unlikely to make any changes to his starting line-up after making the decision to swap Brandon Borrello –a regular for the majority of the season- for late season recruit Tommy Oar.
While the right hand side seemed to be more effective with Borrello –who combined well with full-back Jack Hingert and right midfielder Dimitri Petratos- as opposed to Oar, it’s unlikely that Aloisi will do a back flip and re-insert a player who scored 5 goals in 19 starts this season. Steven Lustica is a likely inclusion for Javier Hervas as the midfielder on the bench.
Western Sydney XI- Redmayne, Neville, Alberto, Topor-Stanley, Jamieson, Dimas, Andreu, Nichols, Castelen, Bridge, Santalab.
Substitutes- Reddy, Hamill, Vidosic, Baccus, Sotirio.
Omitted- Cole, Pepper.
Coming off two straight wins and a 14 day break, Tony Popovic will have a fully rested squad at his disposal in their attempt to secure a third Grand Final berth in four seasons. The week off however, in addition to the teams good form to end the season will likely ensure that it’s an unchanged side from the one which beat Wellington on the final day of the season. If any change is made, it would likely be amongst the substitutes with Sotirio a possibility to add an extra attacking option to the bench.
West Sydney- WDLWW
Brisbane- Jamie Maclaren (18)
West Sydney- Mitch Nichols, Brendon Santalab (10)
All-Time Record against Western Sydney Wanderers
After last weeks disappointing 0-0 draw in Melbourne, which resulted in the Premiers Plate slipping through Brisbane’s fingers and landing in Adelaide, the 2016 finals series begins in Brisbane with an elimination final against the Victory.
Despite not getting the result last in Melbourne, Brisbane produced a polished performance against the Victory and but for a couple of poor finishes and some fantastic saves from Lawrence Thomas they would have won the game –and the Premiership-.
Victory for their part in the game sat deep and tried to hit on the counter a tactic which was more and more effective as the match went on, this week however promises to be a different proposition with the visitors likely to adopt a more attacking approach.
There’s two big factors in this game which will likely prove decisive, one of which is how last weeks result and performance influences this week in relation to confidence going into the game. The other is the availability of a certain striker.
Meanwhile the decision by the FFA to downgrade the suspension handed down to Besart Berisha from two weeks to one for his red card in round 26 against Wellington Phoenix. The decision is a largely contentious one for a whole host of reasons, however with Besart now available for selection and his finals record, the Albanian figures to have a pivotal part to play tomorrow night.
This season against Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory (4) Ben Khalfallah 5’, Barbarouses 11’, 30’, Berisha 52’
Brisbane Roar (0)
After waiting until the halfway mark in the season for the first clash of the season between these two, the home side got off to a fast start to essentially put the game to bed in the opening half hour. Brisbane, who were top of the league going into the game started off sluggishly and never really recovered from a couple of midfield errors which resulted in the opening two goals.
Brisbane Roar (5) Maclaren 18’, 22’, 87’, Brown 55’, Corona 76’
Melbourne Victory (0)
Brisbane well and truly got their own back in round 23, with a rampaging 5-0 win at home, with Jamie Maclaren out to prove a point after being overlooked for the recently announced Socceroos squad. Melbourne were in the middle of a busy patch of their schedule with ACL however they were well and truly out played by Brisbane on the night.
Melbourne Victory (0)
Brisbane Roar (0)
All of that brings us to last weekend, a game where there was nothing on the line for the home side and everything on the line for Brisbane, and despite throwing everything at the Victory it wasn’t enough to get the goal. Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas made a string of excellent saves, but the Roar had the chances to put the game –and the Premiership- to bed.
Brisbane Roar squad
1) Michael Theo, 3) Shane Stefanutto, 5) Corey Brown, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 17) Matt McKay, 18) Javier Hervas, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 24) Tommy Oar 28) Brandon Borrello.
*two to be omitted.
Melbourne Victory squad
1) Danny Vukovic, 2) Jason Geria, 3) Scott Galloway, 4) Nick Ansell, 5) Daniel Georgievski, 6) Leigh Broxham, 7) Gui Finkler, 8) Besart Berisha, 9) Kosta Barbarouses, 10) Archie Thompson, 13) Oliver Bozanic, 14) Fahid Ben Khalfallah, 17) Mathieu Delpierre, 19) George Howard, 20) Lawrence Thomas, 21) Carl Valeri, 22) Jesse Makarounas, 23) Jai Ingham.
Brisbane XI: Young, Hingert, North, Donachie, Brown, Petratos, Corona, McKay, Oar, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes: Theo, Bowles, Lustica, Borrello, Henrique.
Omitted: Stefanutto, Hervas.
Despite failing to get the desired result last week in Melbourne, it’s unlikely that John Aloisi will tamper with his starting side for this game. Last weeks decision to insert Tommy Oar into the starting side had an impact on the side and his influence should continue to grow as his fitness does the same.
Melbourne XI: Thomas, Geria, Delpierre, Broxham, Galloway, Valeri, Bozanic, Finkler, Barbarous, Ben Khalfallah, Berisha.
Substitutes: Vukovic, Georgievski, Makarounas, Howard, Thompson.
Omitted: Ansell, Ingham.
After resting many of their established stars last week due to a hectic schedule, this week should see many of Melbourne’s best players return to the side. The likes of Broxham, Delpierre and Barbarouses were left out last week and should all return this week, while Berisha returns from suspension. The big question for Kevin Muscat will likely be surrounding club captain Carl Valeri, whose recent return from a brain illness has been successful.
Brisbane: Jamie Maclaren (18)
Melbourne: Besart Berisha (17)
All-Time Record against Melbourne Victory
Round 27 sees the regular season come to an end with a trick trip to Melbourne to take on the Victory with the Premiership on the line.
The race for the Premiership reaches its conclusion this weekend four sides remaining in the hunt to lift the Plate. For Brisbane, a win this weekend would secure the clubs third Premiership but any slip ups would open the door for Adelaide United, Melbourne City or Western Sydney Wanderers. Going into the weekend Brisbane sit top of the table on 47 points, with Adelaide on 46, Western Sydney on 45 and Melbourne City on 44.
With a win needed to secure the plate, its worth noting Brisbane’s dismal record in Melbourne, with just five wins from 24 games in the Victorian capital. Brisbane’s record at AAMI Park is especially bad reading with just two wins from 13 games at the venue against both Victory and City combined.
Their last win in Melbourne however was at AAMI Park against the Victory, with a 3-0 win in January 2014 coming as one of the standout results in Brisbane’s last Premiership winning season.
Last week Brisbane had to fight hard to overcome a stubborn Newcastle side after falling a goal behind due to a penalty conceded by Jade North for handball. Goals from Henrique –also from the penalty spot- and a winner from Thomas Broich sent Brisbane top of the table.
While Brisbane have been winning in recent weeks, they’ve had to come from behind frequently, a recipe which doesn’t always work and giving up leads from winning positions is something that John Aloisi will need to address when the finals start.
Meanwhile Melbourne are locked into an away elimination final next week, but appear to be heading for the finals with momentum on the back of wins over Western Sydney and Wellington. Victory are also fighting on duel fronts with the Champions League taking priority in recent times, and with six points from 4 games they stand in good shape to make it to the knockout rounds.
The two meetings between these sides this season were completely contrasting, with convincing wins at home for both sides.
In round 15 Brisbane started very sluggishly and the home side scored twice in the opening 11 minutes before running away with a 4-0 win. Much of that early damage was self inflicted by the Roar, but it was one of Melbourne’s better performances this season.
In the second match just a month ago, Brisbane put on their best performance of the season in a 5-0 revenge win at home thanks to a Jamie Maclaren hat-trick. The game was in the midst of Melbourne’s busy Asian Champions League schedule, and a weary Victory were little match for Brisbane on the night.
Brisbane Roar squad 1) Michael Theo, 3) Shane Stefanutto, 5) Corey Brown, 7) Corona, 8) Steven Lustica, 9) Jamie Maclaren, 10) Henrique, 13) Jade North, 14) Daniel Bowles, 15) James Donachie, 17) Matt McKay, 18) Javier Hervas, 19) Jack Hingert, 21) Jamie Young, 22) Thomas Broich, 23) Dimitri Petratos, 24) Tommy Oar 28) Brandon Borrello. *two to be omitted.
Melbourne Victory squad 1) Danny Vukovic, 2) Jason Geria, 3) Scott Galloway, 6) Leigh Broxham, 7) Gui Finkler, 9) Kosta Barbarouses, 10) Archie Thompson, 11) Connor Pain, 13) Oliver Bozanic, 14) Fahid Ben Khalfallah, 15) Giancarlo Gallifuoco, 17) Mathieu Delpierre, 19) George Howard, 20) Lawrence Thomas, 21) Carl Valeri, 22) Jesse Makarounas, 23) Jai Ingham, 24) Thomas Deng.
*two to be omitted.
Brisbane XI- Young, Hingert, North, Donachie, Brown, Petratos, Corona, McKay, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Theo, Bowles, Lustica, Oar, Henrique.
Omitted- Stefanutto, Hervas.
After last weeks come from behind win over Newcastle, it’s unlikely that John Aloisi will make any changes to the side given there’s so much to play for. At this stage of the season it’s time to stick with those in the side and trust them to deliver.
Melbourne XI- Thomas, Geria, Broxham, Delpierre, Galloway, Valeri, Bozanic, Finkler, Barbarouses, Ben Khalfallah, Howard.
Substitutes- Vukovic, Deng, Makarounas, Ingham, Thompson.
Omitted- Gallifuoco, Pain.
There’s a bit of guess work in Melbourne’s side given they have little to play for and they had a big Asian Champions League clash midweek in South Korea. Besart Berisha is definitely out due to his red card in Wellington last week, but apart from that it’s unclear who will take the park for Melbourne tomorrow. The above is simply just a best available side of those selected.
Brisbane- Jamie Maclaren (18)
Melbourne- Besart Berisha (17)
All-Time Record against Melbourne Victory