Late Reds rally as Brisbane lose home opener


(Source: Jono Searle/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brisbane Roar (1)
Maccarone 8’
Adelaide United (2) Kitto 88’, Absalonsen 90+2’
11,178 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar have made it back to back defeats to start the 2017-18 season after two late goals ensured a 2-1 win for the Reds. Late goals from Ryan Kitto and Johan Absalonsen were enough to cancel out Massimo Maccarone’s early opener for the Roar.

8’ (1-0) Corey Brown’s pin point cross from the left hand side was turned in first time on the volley by Massimo Maccarone, who opened his account in Brisbane colours.

88’ (1-1) Moments after entering the game from the bench, Ryan Kitto got the Reds back level after his shot beat Michael Theo in the Roar goal after he was found by strike partner Baba Diawara.

90+2’ (1-2) Adelaide then went on to secure all three points in stoppage time when Johan Absalonsen pounced on a loose ball and his shot found it’s way into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.

12’- First chance of the game for Adelaide falls to Johan Absalonsen, however he blazed his shot over the bar.

30’- Brisbane hit Adelaide on the counter attack with Fahid Ben Khalfallah finding Peter Skapetis is space, however his closed range effort was smothered by Reds keeper Paul Izzo.

48’- Great chance for D’Agostino to double the Brisbane lead after a Paul Izzo mistake however the Roar youngster couldn’t capitalise.

58’- Adelaide came close to an equaliser after George Blackwood’s effort bounced back after hitting the post.

62’– Massimo Maccarone cuts inside from the left before his low shot goes straight at Izzo in the Adelaide goal.

76’- Daniel Adlung’s powerful effort for the visitors was deflected wide.

83’– Michael Theo was on hand to keep Brisbane’s lead in tact as he denied Reds defender Michael Marrone with a brilliant save.

Team News
Brisbane Roar XI- Theo, North, Devere, Papadopoulos, Brown, Caletti, McKay, Skapetis, D’Agostino, Ben Khalfallah, Maccarone.
Substitutions- Holman for D’Agostino (60’), Hingert for Papadopoulos (70’), Akbari for Skapetis (84’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Oxborrow.
Yellow Cards- McKay (42’), Papadopoulos (68’), North (82’)
Red Cards- Nil.

Adelaide United XI- Izzo, Marrone, Elsey, Gulum, Garuccio, Lia, Adlung, Isaias, Mileusnic, Absalonsen, Blackwood.
Substitutions- Diawara for Diawara (65’), Lia for Konstandopoulos (66’), Kitto for Mileusnic (84’)
Unused Substitutes- Margush, O’Doherty.
Yellow Cards- Gulum (14’), Adlung (21’), Isaias (82’)
Red Cards- Nil.

Stats, Facts & Figures
– Massimo Maccarone became the 72nd different goalscorer for Brisbane Roar.

– The 2-1 loss was Brisbane’s sixth straight in all competitions, their longest ever losing streak

– This is just the second time that Brisbane have opened the season with back to back defeats, with the other being the 2014-15 season.

Up next
Brisbane are at home once again in Round 3, with a home game against Newcastle Jets who looked impressive in the F3 derby on the opening round. With Newcastle not playing until Sunday evening against Perth, Brisbane will have the advantage in terms of preparation time but they will have plenty of work to do over the next 8 days.


Victory defeat Roar in FFA Cup

Brisbane Roar (1) Skapetis 90’
Melbourne Victory (5) Austin 26’, Troisi 35’, Berisha 48’ (p.k), 74’, Milligan 52’ (p.k)
3,184 at Perry Park, Brisbane


Brisbane Roar have bowed out of the FFA Cup at the Round of 32 stage for the third straight year, going down 5-1 to Melbourne Victory on Wednesday night at Perry Park.

A brace to former Brisbane striker Besart Berisha, in addition to goals from Mitch Austin, James Troisi and Mark Milligan were enough to send the 2015 Cup Winners into the last 16.

0- 1 (26’). Victory got in behind the Roar defence on the left with Kosta Barbarouses shot parried clear by Jamie Young into the path of Mitch Austin who had the easy task of putting the ball into the back of the net.

0-2 (35’) Melbourne then doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break after James Troisi capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Hingert and Kristensen, leaving Jamie Young stranded as his shot wound up in the bottom corner.

0-3 (48’) The game was essentially over three minutes into the second half after Jack Hingert was adjudged to have brought down Mitch Austin, with Besart Berisha converting the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.

0-4 (52’) Victory scored their second penalty in the space of four minutes, with Mark Milligan stepping up this time to convert after referee Chris Beath ruled that Jade North handled the ball inside the penalty area.

0-5 (74’) After an excellent through ball from James Troisi, Besart Berisha got his second goal of the game by coolly chipping Jamie Young from the of the 18 yard box.

1-5 (90’) Brisbane got themselves a consolation goal as the game ticked into second half stoppage time, with injury replacement Peter Skapetis getting himself a debut goal with his shot rocketing into the top corner.

Brisbane tested their new 3-4-3 formation once again tonight and while they’ve had success in two pre-season clashes today, this was the first test against A-League opposition. For Brisbane that meant the same starting XI which played the second half of Saturday’s win over Peninsula Power, with the only change being in goal where Jamie Young played in place of youngster Macklin Freke.

Victory meanwhile fielded arguably their strongest possible side for the contest, with only captain Carl Valeri missing from what otherwise was a strong side for last years Grand Finalists.

Both sides started the game with an attacking mindset as they swapped corners in the opening stages. Shannon Brady had the first chance of the game on 16 minutes after he was played in by Brett Holman, with Lawrence Thomas making a smart save on his near post.

It was however the Victory who opened the scoring after Kosta Barbarouses shot was parried into the path of Mitch Austin, with the Victory winger unmarked and able to capitalise on the opportunity.

Victory then doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break after James Troisi capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Hingert and Kristensen.

The game was decided in five second half minutes from the penalty spot with Besart Berisha and Mark Milligan beating Young. Firstly it was Hingert who brought down Austin in the box, before minutes later Jade North was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Berisha then got his second of the evening to make it 5-0 with 20 minutes to play after he lobbed Jamie Young after the through ball from Troisi.

Brisbane rescued a consolation goal late on through debutant Peter Skapetis, whose shot flew into the top corner of the net.

Stats and Facts
– Peter Skapetis became the 129th player to represent Brisbane Roar after entering the game as a second half substitute, and just the 10th player to score on debut for the club.

– Massimo Maccarone became the 130th player to represent Brisbane Roar after entering the game as a second half substitute, while Mitchell Oxborrow became the 131st.

– Brisbane Roar have now lost their last four games in the FFA Cup, and are still winless against A-League opposition in the Cup.

– Tonight’s 5-1 result is the equal biggest ever loss Brisbane have faced at the hands of the Victory, equalling the 4-0 loss from Round 15, 2015-16.

Coaches quotes Brisbane Roar boss John Aloisi- “We tried to play our football and we made a couple of mistakes and they punished us. The first two goals were poor ones to give away. Second half we wanted to start strongly but two penalties changed the game”

Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat- “We knew we were looking reasonably sharp –in pre-season-, but you only really find out when you face A-League opposition and we were good value for the result tonight”.

Brisbane Roar XI- Young, Hingert, Kristensen, North, Ingham, Caletti, McKay, Brown, Holman, Brady, D’Agostino.
Substitutions– Skapetis for Ingham (57’), Maccarone for D’Agostino (61’), Oxborrow for Brady (71’).
Unused Substitutes- Bilic, Reardon.
Yellow Cards– Ingham, D’Agostino.
Red Cards- Nil.

Melbourne Victory XI- Thomas, Geria, Williams, Donachie, Nigro, Broxham, Milligan, Troisi, Austin, Barbarouses, Berisha.
Substitutions- Ingham for Berisha (76’), Hope for Troisi (80’), McGlip for Milligan (82’)
Unused Substitutes- Hatzikourtis, Theoharous.
Yellow Cards– Williams.
Red Cards- Nil.

Up next
For Brisbane Roar the FFA Cup is over for another year, with the next competitive game not coming until October when the A-League season begins.

Holman returns to net Brisbane the three points

Brisbane Roar (2) Borrello 22’, Holman 90+3’
Western Sydney Wanderers (1) Kusukami 32’
13,058 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane


(Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Brett Holman has returned from injury and given Brisbane a vital three points at home on Saturday night to kick-start the clubs busy upcoming schedule. The attacking midfielder came off the bench to score the winner in stoppage time after Brandon Borrello’s opener was cancelled out by Jumpei Kusukami.

22’ (1-0) Brisbane took the lead midway through the first half after a Daniel Bowles cross from the left hand side, with the ball finding its way to Brandon Borrello at the back post to score the opener.

(1-1) Western Sydney got themselves back into the game after winning the ball in midfield, with Baccus playing the ball out to Mitch Nichols, who drew the defender before playing in Kusukami who beat Theo at the far post.

90+3’ (2-1) With the game winding down, Brisbane got a throw in around the halfway line and after a neat flick from Arana set Holman into some space, and Brisbane’s returning no.10 shot went through the hands of Janjetovic and into the back of the net.

With Corey Brown suspended a change at the back was required and Aloisi opted to go with the obvious by giving Daniel Bowles his first start of the season at left back, after his cameo against Wellington.

The aforementioned Brett Holman made his first appearance after going off with injury against Sydney FC back in November, while Thomas Broich returned to the starting XI after a rest last week. With the busy schedule now here Tommy Oar was given a break, with the winger deployed off the bench.

Even first half
The first half was a rather even affair, with precious few chances for either side apart from the two goals. It was a half that was played, and aside from the two goals scored and a foul by Scott Neville which could have been more than the yellow it received, was a very even contest.

Roar chances
Throughout the second half Brisbane began to assert more pressure on the Wanderers goal with a succession of corners penning the visitors inside their 18 yard box. The best chance arguably fell to Jamie Maclaren who was sharply played in by Thomas Broich, but equally sharp was Janjetovic who rushed off his line to deny the striker. West Sydney’s best chance to secure the three points arrived late in the second half when Brendan Santalab’s shot was turned past the far post.

There were plenty of controversial moments in the game with the first arriving midway through the first half when Scott Neville clipped the heels of Thomas Broich. The German attacker was in through on goal and with no defender between Broich and the keeper it could easily have been interpreted as an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

Neville was eventually dismissed in the 81st minute for a second bookable offence on Manuel Arana. There were also a number of penalty claims in the game, with Brendan Santalab having the best shout after the striker was seemingly dragged back by Daniel Bowles just minutes after entering the game as a second half substitute.

At the other end of the park Scott Neville was perhaps lucky to avoid a handball decision against him after a Tommy Oar corner struck the defenders hand. It would perhaps have been a harsh call, but one that has been given before.

Brisbane XI-
Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Petratos, Borrello, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutions- Oar for Petratos (70’), Arana for Maclaren (80’), Holman for Kristensen (84’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Pepper.
Yellow Cards- Borrello.
Red Cards- Nil.

Western Sydney XI- Janjetovic, Neville, Cornthwaite, Aspropotamitis, Clisby, Baccus, Dimas, Nichols, Kusukami, Sotirio, Scott.
Substitutions- Santalab for Scott (57’), Martinez for Kusukami (68’), Antonis for Nichols (77’).
Unused Substitutes- Tyson, Hamill.
Yellow Cards- Neville, Sotirio.
Red Cards- Neville.

Up next
This is just the start of Brisbane’s busy fixture schedule, with the next game in this run on Tuesday night in the AFC Champions League qualifier against Philippines Champion Global FC.

Late Maclaren goal nets Brisbane first win of 2017

Wellington Phoenix (0)
Brisbane Roar (1) Maclaren 87′
6,405 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington


(Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images AsiaPac)


87’ (0-1) The only goal of the game came with just three minutes remaining when Brandon Borrello capitalised on a mistake from Andrew Durante, and the winger cut inside from the right hand side drawing the attention of Glen Moss before passing to Jamie Maclaren who had an empty net in front of him.

Despite the loss down in Melbourne last week John Aloisi elected to start with the same side which meant Jamie Maclaren remained on the bench for the second straight week, with Manuel Arana preferred. For Wellington the selection was equally straightforward, with Des Buckingham sticking with the same team which defeated Melbourne Victory midweek.

Brisbane started the game in a confident fashion controlling the possession but struggled to create clear cut chances, with Jack Hingert’s long range effort off the post the best of them. Roly Bonevacia then had Wellington’s best chance of the first half after an audacious flick around the defender just eluded him.

In the second half the chances dried up for both sides, with Wellington’ best chances arriving from set pieces , while Brandon Borrello going close before it was his cross which set up the winner.

Brisbane XI- Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Petratos, Borrello, Oar, Arana.
Substitutions- Maclaren for Arana (61’), Bowles for Brown (71’), Pepper for Petratos (90’)
Unused Substitutes- Young, D’Agostino.
Yellow Cards- Brown.
Red Cards- Nil.

Wellington XI- Moss, Tratt, Durante, Rossi, Doyle, Rodriguez, Lia, Bonevacia, Krishna, Barbarouses, Smeltz.
Substitutions- Finkler for Lia (56’), McGlinchey for Smeltz (56’), Watson for Krishna (89’)
Unused Substitutes- Italiano, Lowry.
Yellow Cards- Rossi, Tratt.
Red Cards- Nil.

Up next Brisbane return back to Brisbane for the first of three important home games which will go a long way to shaping how the season ends. An ACL qualifier against either Global FC or Tampines Rovers and a third and final regular season clash against Sydney FC await, although before that Brisbane will play Western Sydney on Saturday night.

A quick side note, Corey Brown’s second half yellow card means that he will be suspended for the Western Sydney clash due to a fifth yellow card.

Slow start costs Brisbane the points in Melbourne


(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.

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.

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.

Brisbane end 2016 with loss in Sydney


(Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Sydney FC (2) Brosque 36’, Ninkovic 63’
Brisbane Roar (0)
16,510 at Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney.

36’ (1-0) Sydney opened the scoring 10 minutes before the break with a well crafted move resulting in Alex Brosque scoring against his former side.
62’ (2-0) The home side then doubled their advantage on the back of a Brisbane mistake as Milos Ninkovic found the back of the net.
Wasteful Brisbane
While it’s unfair to say that Brisbane were poor tonight and in truth showed they could trouble the league leaders, they were far too inefficient to get anything out of the game. Petratos, Maclaren and Borrello combined to spurn the Roars best chances, while Manuel Arana hit the crossbar with his effort. The fact that Brisbane failed to create one clear cut chance in the final 20 minutes against a 10 man Sydney side sums up Brisbane’s ability to create in the final third.

Strong Sydney While we are all lamenting the profligacy of Brisbane upfront today, we’ve got to give some credit to Sydney who put in another strong showing tonight which extended their unbeaten streak to 13 matches. The front four in particular for Sydney combine well and have a strong understanding, while Wilkinson and Jurman were comfortable at the other end of the park.

Despite that however, the Sky Blues did reconfirm their position as the most cynical side in the competition with 16 fouls and four cards picked up on the night from Shaun Evans. It’s not just the number however it’s the nature and context of the fouls which make them so cynical, mostly to stop counter attacks.

Brisbane XI- Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Petratos, Oar, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutions- Arana for Oar (56’), Borrello for Hingert (69’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Bowles, Pepper.
Yellow Cards- Arana.
Red Cards- Nil.

Sydney XI- Vukovic, Grant, Wilkinson, Jurman, Zullo, Brillante, O’Neill, Holosko, Ninkovic, Brosque, Bobo.
Substitutions- Ibini for Holosko (63’), Simon for Bobo (79’), Ryall for Ninkovic (89’).
Unused Substitutes- Manos, Carney.
Yellow Cards- Brosque, Brillante, Zullo, Simon.
Red Cards- Brosque.

p Next Brisbane return home for a clash with 5th placed Newcastle Jets in the Saturday late afternoon game. Here’s hoping the playing surface at Suncorp Stadium is of similar standard to that of the Sydney Football Stadium tonight, which recovered well from back to back concerts earlier this month.


Brisbane unbeaten in 9 after win in Gosford


Central Coast Mariners (1) O’Donovan 57′
Brisbane Roar (2) Petratos 33′, Maclaren 77′
6063 at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Brisbane Roar have made it 9 games unbeaten following a 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners this evening taking them back into third on the A-League ladder.

After controlling the opening exchanges, Brisbane opened the scoring just past the half hour mark thanks to Dimitri Petratos’ first goal of the season. A hand ball on the edge of the area by Liam Rose, Dimitri Petratos stepped up to take the set piece opportunity and his free kick went into the top corner at the far post leaving Paul Izzo no chance.

Central Coast Mariners came back into the game after the half time break and were rewarded for their efforts by Roy O’Donovan, with the Irish striker expertly picked out by Fabio Ferreira on the counter attack.

In response John Aloisi introduced Thomas Broich to proceedings and Brisbane’s marquee man was instrumental in the winning goal. After controlling a cross field switch of play with his first touch, Broich proceeded to float a cross to the back post for Jamie Maclaren to nod home his first headed goal in the A-League.

Central Coast pushed for a winner at the end of the game but were denied by Brisbane’s back four who along with late substitute Jacob Pepper were able to see out the game.

Brisbane Roar XI- Theo, Hingert, DeVere, North, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Petratos, Borrello, Oar, Maclaren.
Substitutes- Arana for Borrello (67’), Broich for Petratos (71’), Pepper for Maclaren (85’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Bowles.
Yellow Cards- Nil
Red Cards- Nil

Central Coast Mariners XI- Izzo, Galloway, Ascroft, McGing, Neill, Rose, Montgomery, Powell, Ferreira, Pain, O’Donovan.
Substitutions- Berry for Rose (46’), Buhagiar for Pain (77’), Appiah for Powell (85’).
Unused Substitutes- Necevski, Peterson.
Yellow Cards- O’Donovan.
Red Cards- Nil

This evenings win over the Mariners capped off a busy day with all three Brisbane Roar sides in action away from home, with the National Youth League side down in Melbourne while the W-League side joined the A-League side in Gosford for a double-header.

The trio of games started in Gosford with the Brisbane Roar women’s team taking on Canberra and looking for revenge from their loss earlier in the season .Unfortunately for Mel Andreatta’s side, defensive errors cost them as the host side Canberra United ran out 5-1 winners on the day.

Two goals each for Nickoletta Flannery and Ashleigh Sykes, in addition to a Stephanie Ochs penalty gave Canberra a comprehensive win and the season double over Brisbane. The only consolation for Brisbane came with Emily Gielnik’ stoppage time goal, but it was too little, too late.

Canberra United (5) Flannery 13’, 53’, Sykes 50’, 56’, Ochs 28’ p.k
Brisbane Roar (1) Gielnik 90+2

National Youth League
In the second game of the afternoon Brisbane Roar moved to the top of the Conference A standings following a 2-1 win against Melbourne Victory.

Goals from Nicholas D’Agostino and Connor O’Toole were enough to cancel out Joshua Hope’ first half strike.

The win, coupled with Adelaide United’s win over Melbourne City see’s Brisbane sit top of Conference A with four matches remaining in the season.

Melbourne Victory (1) Hope 23′
Brisbane Roar (2) D’Agostino 13′, O’Toole 87′