Slow start costs Brisbane the points in Melbourne

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(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Melbourne Victory (3) Troisi 12, Rojas 17′, Berisha 26′ (p.k)
Brisbane Roar (2) Petratos 29′ O.G (Donachie) 42′
21,103 at AAMI Park, Melbourne

Brisbane Roar have failed to recover from a slow start as they slumped to a third straight defeat against Melbourne Victory on Friday night. Early goals to James Troisi, Marco Rojas and Besart Berisha invoked memories of the clash between the two sides at this time last season, before Brisbane made a comeback to enter the halftime break within touching distance.

A red card early in the second half to Besart Berisha for contact with the face of Luke DeVere –it looked a harsh call on the TV in truth- gave Brisbane a route back into the contest, however much like two weeks ago in Sydney the Roar struggled to create clear chances against ten men.

John Aloisi sprang a selection surprise with Jamie Maclaren and Thomas Broich dropped to the substitute’s bench, as Brandon Borrello started on the right wing and Manuel Arana started upfront. Arana struggled in what was just his second start of the season, with Maclaren’s potential impact off the bench negated by Victory’s defensive set-up after going down to ten men.

Goals
12’ (1-0) A free kick against Matt McKay on Besart Berisha, and James Troisi stepped up to curl his free-kick over the wall and into the top corner at the near post giving Michael Theo no chance.

17’ (2-0) Melbourne doubled their lead five minutes later after James Troisi beat two Brisbane defenders before whipping a cross-field ball to Marco Rojas, with Michael Theo misreading the cross leaving Rojas free to tap into an empty net.

27’ (3-0) Victory probably thought the game was over on the half hour mart after Besart Berisha was brought down by Luke DeVere, with the leagues all-time top goalscorer beating Michael Theo from the penalty spot.

30’ (3-1) Dimitri Petratos usurped the previous effort from Troisi with a stunning free kick from straight in front, sending Lawrence Thomas the wrong way and the ball into the top corner of the net.

41’ (3-2) Brisbane got right back into the contest after a Brandon Borrello cross was deflected into his own goal by James Donachie giving Brisbane a massive boost ahead of the half-time break.

Squads
Brisbane Roar– Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Borrello, Petratos, Oar, Arana.
Substitutes– Arana for Maclaren (57’), Kristensen for Broich (73’).
Unused Substitutes– Young, Bowles, Pepper.
Yellow Cards– North, DeVere.
Red Cards– Nil.

Melbourne Victory– Thomas, Geria, Ansell, Donachie, Broxham, Valeri, Bozanic, Troisi, Ben Khalfallah, Rojas, Berisha.
Substitutes– Georgievski for Geria (71’), Ingham for Rojas (81’), Ben Khalfallah for Austin (87’).
Unused Substitutes– Acton, Mahazi.
Yellow Cards– Troisi.
Red Cards– Berisha.

Up next- Brisbane’s two game road trip now sends them across the Tasman for a game Sunday week against Wellington Phoenix. The Nix will be playing their third straight home game in seven days in what is Brisbane’s only trip to New Zealand for the regular season.

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