Over the course of the season we’ll keep tabs on the yellow and red cards handed out each week across the A-League. It all adds up to the Fair play Award on the A-League’s annual awards night, an award which was won last season by Brisbane Roar.
While the fair play award is far from the most important trophy on offer in the A-League, it’s vital to have all of your players fit and available for the big games towards the end of the season and ill-discipline could prove to be crucial if players miss big games at the business end of the season.
Brisbane Roar have been the most successful disciplined side over the 11 year history of the A-League, winning the award on six occasions including four straight from 2010-11 through 2013-14. Other winners include Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC. The full list of winners is below.
2005-06- Melbourne Victory
2006-07- Perth Glory
2007-08- Newcastle Jets
2008-09- Brisbane Roar
2009-10- Sydney FC
2010-11- Brisbane Roar
2011-12- Brisbane Roar
2012-13- Brisbane Roar
2013-14- Brisbane Roar
2014-15- Wellington Phoenix
2015-16- Brisbane Roar
For those unaware, the award is decided on a points system, with points accrued for Yellow Cards, Second Yellow Cards and Straight Red Cards.
Here’s a breakdown on how the points system works
1 Point- Yellow Card
2 Points- Second Yellow Card
3 Points- Red Card
All data in this series is collated from the official match reports posted on the A-League website.
A-League Disciplinary Table
After losing their spot at the top of the disciplinary table in last months update, Central Coast Mariners have displaced Adelaide United with just three rounds remaining of the regular season. The gap at the top however remains incredible close, with the top four sides separated by just four points.
With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, there are four teams who have a chance at claiming the discipline award for the 2016-17. Amongst them are potential first time winners Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, in addition to 2007-08 winner Newcastle Jets and six time winner Brisbane Roar who also won the award last season.
At the other end of the table Melbourne City look all set to finish at the foot of the table with 13 point gap between City and ninth placed Western Sydney Wanderers.
Individual Players Table
So far this season there have been 533 yellow cards handed out to 173 different players over the course of the season, with the total number of yellow cards up from 472 in the last update. That equates to an average of 4.4 yellow cards per game, which is down from 4.5 last month.
So far this season there have been 63 players who’ve missed games this season for disciplinary reasons, who between them have missed a combined 81 games between them. Melbourne City’s Dean Bouzanis has missed the most games for disciplinary reasons this season due to his racial slur directed at Besart Berisha, with Melbourne City also having the most players to miss a game –nine-.
With three weeks remaining in the regular season there are a number of players who are closing in on the 8 game threshold who could wind up missing either important games in the run in or potentially a final. While the threshold re-sets for the finals series, any player who picks up an 8th yellow card in round 27 would miss a finals game.
The following players are currently one yellow card away from a one match ban- Corey Brown (BRI), Alan Baro, Jason Geria (MVC), Wayne Brown (NEW), Josh Brillante, Brandon O’Neill (SFC) and Brendon Santalab (WSW).
The following players are currently two yellow cards away from a one match ban- Tarek Elrich, Ben Garuccio (ADL), Thomas Kristensen, Brandon Borrello (BRI), Neil Kilkenny, Manny Muscat, Luke Brattan (MCY), Fahid Ben Khalfallah (MVC), Nigel Boogaard, Andrew Hoole, Steven Ugarkovic (NEW), Brandon Wilson, Rostyn Griffiths, Josh Risdon (PER), Rhyan Grant, Michael Zullo (SFC), Marco Rossi, Vince Lia, Andrew Durante (WEL) and Jack Clisby (WSW).
Finally to the referees table and the number of referees remains the same as the last update with 12 referees amongst the FFA’s rotation, with Chris Beath still the most common official and Matthew Conger the least common.
Kurt Ams has the highest average yellow cards per game with 52 cautions in nine games this season for an average of 5.8, with Daniel Elder the lowest average with 19 yellow cards from six games for an average of 3.2 per game. Jarred Gillett and Shaun Evans have both sent off five players this season which is the most of any official, while Kurt Ams and Matthew Conger are yet to issue a red card this season.
The final update for the 2016-17 season will arrive at the conclusion of the regular season.
It’s been a busy week off the field for Brisbane Roar who have been in constant discussion with the FFA over the course of the week as the fallout over the 2-1 loss against Adelaide played out.
The net affect of the stoppage time drama in Adelaide is that goalkeeper Michael Theo will be suspended for two matches for his elbow on Adelaide defender Dylan McGowan.
In addition to that Ross Aloisi has been slapped with a four game ban for an incident in the tunnel post game, while Craig Moore received a one game ban for comments he made to referee Stephen Lucas.
All of that however is now in the past and the focus turns to tonight’s home game against Melbourne Victory in what is a most win game after last nights Wanderers win over Melbourne City.
That result gives Brisbane the chance to finish the round in 3rd place, however anything less than a win will leave them just one game ahead of sixth placed Western Sydney.
What have they done lately?
Melbourne Victory have been flying somewhat under the radar as Sydney FC run away with the Premiers Plate, however it’s the Victory who will join them in getting a free pass into week 2 of the finals.
With just one loss in the last six weeks, the Victory are hitting form at the right time of the season, that one loss however against Sydney FC in round 22 eliminated them from the Premiership race.
Despite that, it’s in attack where Melbourne are at their strongest, with a league high 48 goals scored this season. Due to the international break however, they will be without the scorers of 37 of those goals tonight with Jai Ingham, James Troisi, Marco Rojas and Besart Berisha unavailable.
This season against Melbourne Victory
Round 1- Brisbane Roar 1-1 Melbourne Victory
Round 15- Melbourne Victory 2-3 Brisbane Roar
While Brisbane Roar will be without the suspended Theo and club captain Matt McKay due to a knee injury, John Aloisi does at least welcome back both Thomas Broich and Luke DeVere to the selection.
It’s likely that if Broich is fit he will replace the ineffective Arana on the left hand side, however the defensive situation is more complex. Prior to his injury Luke DeVere was forming a solid partnership with Jade North, however with recent addition Avram Papadopoulos playing well at the heart of defence John Aloisi has a real selection dilemma on his hands.
At a guess, id say that given his injury history Aloisi will play it safe with DeVere and give him another week off, with Kye Rowles acting as defensive cover on the bench.
Brisbane Roar- Young, Hingert, North, Papadopoulos, Brown, Kristensen, Caletti, Holman, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Bilic, Rowles, Pepper, Arana, D’Agostino.
Omitted– DeVere, Brady.
Melbourne Victory have been hit hard by the current international break with their entire front four away with their respective national sides. With Berisha, Ingham, Rojas and Troisi all unavailable, Kevin Muscat is set to turn to youth in his last ditch attempt to salvage Victory’s Premiership aspirations. Back-up striker George Howard is set for a rare start, as are out of favour wingers Mitch Austin and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
Youngsters Pierce Waring and Christopher Theoharous are likely to make their A-League debuts off the bench after impressing in the youth side over recent weeks. Midfield duo Josh Hope and Cameron McGlip are also outside chances of playing.
Melbourne Victory– Thomas, Geria, Baro, Donachie, Georgievski, Broxham, Valeri, Mahazi, Austin, Ben Khalfallah, Howard.
Substitutes- Acton, Ansell, Theoharous, Nigro, Waring.
Omitted- Hope, McGlip.
All-Time Record against Melbourne Victory
It’s been another tough week in the AFC Champions League for Brisbane, with their latest loss away from home to Kashima Antlers further diminishing the chances of progression to the last 16. For now however the ACL takes a back seat until the April 12th return bout with Kashima Antlers, which means the battle for 3rd spot in the A-League takes priority.
Given the results already in this split round with Melbourne Victory moving 12 points clear with just four games to play, third place is now the best case scenario for the Roar. There is however some strong competition for the home finals in week one, with Melbourne City, Brisbane and Perth Glory separated by just the one point. Glory’s loss to Victory last week however gives both Brisbane and Melbourne City a leg up in that battle for third.
That battle for Brisbane begins with a trip to Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon in what is a fantastic opportunity to get a leg up on the competition, before returning to Brisbane for three of the final four games of the regular season.
What have they done lately?
Adelaide have been in the A-League cellar for the season so far and currently sit five points behind ninth placed Central Coast and all but out of the finals hunt. As virtue of being the defending A-League Champions Adelaide also find themselves in the Asian Champions League, and similarly to Brisbane find themselves bottom of the group with just one point from nine at the halfway mark.
Due to their struggles this season the Reds have undergone something of a transformation since the last time these two sides met back in round 12, with a number of personnel changes over the January transfer window.
Most notably from a Brisbane perspective Henrique lead the exodus in January as Brisbane’s former Grand Final hero headed for the Thai Premier League and was joined heading for the exit by James Holland –China- and Sergi Guardiola –Spain-. Replacing those are former South Korean international midfielder Kim Jae-Sung, Senegalese striker Baba Diawara and former Socceroo Eli Babalj.
This season against Adelaide United
Round 6- Adelaide United 1-1 Brisbane Roar
Round 10- Brisbane Roar 4-0 Adelaide United
Brisbane have controlled the majority of the two encounters against the Reds this season with the Roar having the majority of the chances in the round six clash in Adelaide before a one sided contest here in Brisbane a month later.
Brisbane- Theo, Hingert, North, Papadopoulos, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Borrello, Holman, Arana, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Young, Crestani, Caletti, Brady, D’Agostino.
Omitted- Rowles, Pepper.
Adelaide- Galekovic, Elrich, McGowan, Regan, Garuccio, Kim, McGree, O’Doherty, Makarounas, Cirio, Diawara.
Substitutes- Margush, Warland, Mells, Mileusnic, Babalj.
Omitted- Ochieng, Marino.
All-Time Record against Adelaide United
Matt McKay has been omitted from the final 23 players for Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.
McKay was named in the provisional 30 man squad last week but was amongst seven players left out of the final squad today by the former Brisbane Roar boss.
McKay joins Chris Ikonomidis, Ryan Edwards, Nathan Burns, Awer Mabil, Craig Goodwin and Alex Gersbach in being left out of the final 23.
Today’s news means that the Brisbane captain will be available for next weekends home clash with Melbourne Victory, who will be without James Troisi, Besart Berisha, Jai Ingham and Marco Rojas due to the international window.
McKay, who has 59 caps for the Socceroos since making his debut back in August 2006 now seems unlikely to add to his tally.
Brisbane’s only loss over the window is Dane Ingham who has been selected in the New Zealand squad for their games against Fiji.
Socceroos squad for World Cup Qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates
Goalkeepers- Mitch Langerak, Matt Ryan, Danny Vukovic.
Defenders- Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Rhyan Grant, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Rhys Williams, Bailey Wright.
Midfielders- Mustafa Amini, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, James Jeggo, Massimo Luongo, Riley McGree, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, James Troisi.
Forwards- Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Matthew Leckie.
After a much needed nine day break, Brisbane Roar are back in action tonight as Matchday 3 of the 2017 AFC Champions League sees the Roar travel to Japan as they take on Kashima Antlers.
This game brings us to the halfway mark of the Group Stage and with just one point out of six so far, a repeat of the dramatic win away to Urawa Red Diamonds back in 2015 would be a massive boost in terms of getting out of the group.
The nine day break will have no doubt freshened the side up, however things are about to get busy once again with seven games coming up over the next 34 days as the A-League Regular Season concludes and the Champions League Group Stage reaches its final stages.
What have they done lately?
Kashima find themselves in 7th place on the J-League table after three matches, picking up two wins from three. At the weekend the Antlers had a 1-0 win at home against Yokohama F. Marions, although they had to wait until the 83rd minute to get their winner from Yuma Suzuki.
In the Champions League Kashima got off to a good start against with a matchday one win over Ulsan before a shock loss away from home to Muanthong United on matchday two. Currently Kashima sit second in Group E, level on points with Ulsan Hyundai however take the tie-breaker on head to head.
For more information on Kashima Antlers, you can read of getting to know you feature here.
John Aloisi has all but flagged his starting XI for this game due to the injuries for Tommy Oar, Thomas Kristensen and Luke DeVere in addition to those who didn’t travel to Japan for this game. In addition to Devere and Oar, Michael Theo, Dane Ingham, Nathan Konstandopoulos and Joey Katebian were left at home.
The only possible selection drama is in the front third where Manuel Arana could get a start ahead of Brandon Borrello if he hasn’t fully recovered from his injury hasn’t fully cleared. Outside of that the side seems to pick itself, with Avram Papadopoulos likely to start alongside Jade North in defence.
Brisbane Roar- Young, Hingert, Papadopoulos, North, Brown, Caletti, McKay, Holman, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Bilic, Crestani, Rowles, Pepper, Arana, Brady, D’Agostino.
As always it’s very difficult to predict the line-ups for teams in the Champions League given the lack of familiarity, so this is the side which defeated Yokohama F. Marinos 1-0 at the weekend.
Kashima Antlers- Sun-Tae, Ito, Ueda, Shoji, Yamamoto, Endo, Leo Silva, Ogasawara, Doi, Pedro, Kanazaki.
Substitutes- Suzuki, Nagaki, Nakamura, Bueno, Misao, Sogohata, Abe.
Elsewhere tonight in Group E the two winners on Matchday Two will meet in South Korea as third placed Ulsan Hyundai play host to group leaders Muanthong United. With just three points separating the four teams in Group E this Matchday’s fixtures –which bring us to the halfway mark in the round- could be pivotal.
Orange Sunday I- Where are they now?
With today being the six year anniversary of Brisbane’s dramatic 2011 A-League Grand Final victory over Central Coast Mariners, here’s a look at where the 16 players who took part that day are now.
Three players from that day, Michael Theo, Thomas Broich and Matt McKay remain at Brisbane Roar today, albeit in the case of McKay he did leave the club after the 2011 Grand Final before returning to the Roar in August 2013.
Kosta Barbarouses (Wellington), Ivan Franjic (Melbourne City), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney) and Mitch Nichols (Western Sydney) all play their football in the A-League for rival clubs while Matt Smith (Bangkok Glass) and Henrique (Chiangrai United) play their football overseas.
Matt Mundy and Shane Stefanutto play in the NPL Queensland for Olympic FC, while Milan Susak (Bonnyrigg), Massimo Murdocca (Avondale), Jean Carlos Solórzano (St. Albans) and Rocky Visconte (Croydon Kings) play NPL football interstate.
Erik Paartalu is currently without a club after leaving Qatari club Al Kharitiyath in January.
Jai Ingham receives All-Whites call-up.
Jai Ingham will join his younger brother Dane to the New Zealand National Team squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Fiji. Ingham, 20, had been on the radar for Samoa and while born in Australia qualifies for New Zealand due to his mother being born in across the Tasman.
Also on the international scene, Besart Berisha has been called up to represent Kosovo in their upcoming World Cup Qualifier against Iceland.
Kaluderovic moves to Thailand
Andrija Kaluderovic is on the move once again after leaving Lithuanian club Zalgiris to Thai Premier League side Port MTI FC. Kaluderovic 20 goals in 19 games were a vital part of the Lithuanian side’s title run last year. So far for Port, Kaluderovic has scored one goal in three appearances.
Weekend goal scorers
There were a few goals scored over the weekend by former Brisbane players, with Mensur Kurtishi netting a brace in First Vienna’s 5-0 win over Parndorf. Kurtishi now has 13 goals in 17 games this season. Elsewhere Besart Berisha scored for Melbourne Victory in their win over Perth Glory, as did Rocky Visconte, Royce Brownlie, Tim Smits and Ben Litfin for their respective clubs over the weekend.
Here’s the tables.
Brisbane’s 2017 AFC Champions League campaign resumes on Tuesday night with the Roar looking to get their campaign back on track against J-League giants Kashima Antlers. As we’ve done with every opponent in the Champions League, lets get to know a bit more about the current J-League Champions.
Kashima Antlers were founded as a semi-professional club back in 1947 as Sumitomo Metal Industries Football Club, playing out of Osaka before moving to Kashima in 1975.
When the newly formed professional J-League was formed in 1992, the club changed it’s name to Kashima Antlers and moved into their current home of the Kashima Soccer Stadium in 1993.
When the professional era of the game began in Japan, Kashima quickly emerged as one of the powerhouses of the competition and are one of just two clubs who have been in the J-League since its conception (Yokohama. F. Marinos is the other). ”
Kashima are the most successful club in the J-League’s history, with their eight Championships the most in the history of the competition. The five Emperors Cup wins is also the most for any club in that competition.
J-League- 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016.
Emperors Cup- 1997, 2000, 2007, 2010, 2016.
J-League Cup- 1997, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2012, 2015.
Japanese Super Cup- 1997, 1998, 1999, 2009, 2010, 2017.
Kashima Soccer Stadium
Kashima play their home games at the Kashima Soccer Stadium, roughly 90 minutes east of Tokyo and in the city of Kashima. The stadium itself is one of the 10 that Japan used to co-host the 2002 World Cup, with the venue playing host to three Group Stage matches. Kashima have played their home games at the ground since it was opened back in 1993.
Record in AFC Champions League
2003- Group Stage.
2008- Quarter Finals.
2009- Round of 16.
2010- Round of 16.
2011- Round of 16.
2015- Group Stage.
Kashima have been a regular representative of the J-League on the continental stage, with 2017 the Antlers seventh time in the competition. Despite never winning the competition, Kashima had a four year run of progressing beyond the Group Stage, with their best performance occurring in 2008 when they lost to Adelaide United 2-1 on aggregate in the Quarter-Finals.
How they Qualified
Kashima qualified for the 2017 AFC Champions League after winning both the 2016 J-League and the 2016 Emperors Cup, winning the League-Cup double for the third time in the last 16 years.
Manager- Masatada Ishii 50 year old Masatada Ishii has been the manager of Kashima Antlers since 2015 after a playing career which saw him make 109 appearances for the club from 1991-1997. In that time Ishii has lead the Antlers to a fifth placed finish in 2015 before winning the J-League in 2016. A J-League Cup win in 2015 and an Emperors Cup win in 2016, in addition to making the final of last seasons Club World Cup has enhanced his reputations as one of the best managers on the continent.
Goalkeepers- 1) Kwan Sun Tae, 21) Hitoshi Sogahata, 29) Shinichiro Kawamata, 31) Yuto Koizumi.
Defenders- 3) Gen Shoji, 5) Naomichi Ueda, 15) Misao Yuto, Shuto Yamamoto, 22) Daigo Nishi, 23) Oda Itsuki, 24) Yukitoshi Ito, 28) Koki Machida.
Midfielders- 4) Hugo Leonardo Serejo, 6) Ryota Nagaki, 8) Doi Shoma, 11) Weverson Leonardo Moura, 13) Atsutaka Nakamura, 20) Kento Misao, 25) Yasushi Endo, 26) Kazune Kubota, 27) Takahide Umebachi, 33) Kanazaki Mu, 36) Tanaka Toshiya, 40) Mitsuo Ogasawara.
Forwards- 7) Pedro Junior, 9) Yuma Suzuki, 14) Kanamori Takeshi, 18) Shuhei Akasaki, 30) Abe Hiroki.
Pedro Junior- Like a lot of J-League clubs, Kashima rely heavily on visa players from Brazil to strengthen their squad, and Brisbane’s matchday 3 opponent have three freshly signed ones at their disposal. The first of those is 30 year old attacker Pedro Junior, who started out his career with Brazilian lower league side Vila Nova. Four clubs and eight loan moves later across both Brazil and Japan –he joined Omida Ardija in 2007 before moving to Gamba Osaka in 2009- , he returned to Vila Nova in 2012.
That’s when Pedro’s career began to take off, after his goalscoring record of 9 goals in 17 games caught the attention of K-League side Jeju United. 17 goals in 29 games in South Korea saw Junior return to the J-League with Vissel Kobe in 2014. 25 goals in 74 games, including 13 in 2014 were enough to draw the interest of Kashima.
Leonardo- 23 year old forward Leonardo is the second of the three Brazilians for the Antlers and arrives in Japan on a season long loan from Brazilian club Palmeiras. The striker started out his career with Gremio before a loan move to Palmeiras was made permanent in 2013. Since then he’s been out on loan with the likes of Santos and Coritiba, with this year’s loan move his first outside of his homeland. Unlike the other two Brazilians at Kashima, Leonardo has been capped by the National Side, making the one appearance back in 2013 where he came off the bench to score in a 4-0 win in a friendly against Bolivia.
Leo Silva- The third and final Brazilian in the Kashima is 31 year old defensive midfielder Leo Silva, who arrives in Kashima after 122 games for Albirex Niigata –scoring 16 goals. Prior to that Silva started out his career at Brazilian club Cruzeiro before moving on to local Sao Paolo sides Americana and Portuguesa. Silva made the move from Brazil to Japan back in 2013, and was named in the J-League team of the year back in 2014.
Kwan Sun-Tae– 32 year old South Korean goalkeeper Kwan Sun-Tae rounds out the four visa players for Kashima, with the shot stopper arriving in Kashima over the off-season. Kwan brings a wealth of experience with him after 255 appearances for Jeonbuk Hyundai where he won three K-League and two AFC Champions League titles, including the 2016 addition.
Japanese Internationals– 22 year old defender Naomichi Ueda and 28 year old midfielder Ryota Nagaki were both called up to the Japanese National Team for their World Cup Qualifiers back in November. Defender Gen Shoji and midfielders Mu Kanazaki and Yashushi Endo have also been called up to the national side over the last year.