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.


Kamau brace sinks Roar on opening night


(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Melbourne City (2) Kamau 45’ & 74’
Brisbane Roar (0)
9,589 at AAMI Park, Melbourne

Brisbane Roar’s 2017-18 campaign has began the same way the 2016-17 one ended, with a disappointing loss at AAMI Park. A brace from Bruce Kamau was enough to give the hosts a first up win to start the season, while the Roar looked off the pace for large parts of the game.

45’ (1-0) Bruce Kamau scored the first goal of the new season moments before the half-time break after Luke Brattan’s initial corner was headed clear to the edge of the box. The former Adelaide man controlled the ball before his shot found it’s way into the bottom corner.

74’ (2-0) Kamau then made the game safe 16 minutes from time after he got on the end of a Nick Fitzgerald cross, with his deflected shot going into the net at the far post.

3’- The first chance of the game fell to Joe Caletti in just the third minute after Massimo Maccarone spotted the midfielder in space on the edge of the 18 yard box, his shot however went just past the post of Eugene Galekovic.

6’- First chance for City came from a set piece after Schenkeveld flicked on Brattan’s initial corner. Stefan Mauk then proceeded to head the ball over the crossbar despite being unmarked.

19′- Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Nick D’Agostino combine, with the Roar youngster’s shot going just past the near post.

30’- Peter Skapetis is played in down the right hand side by Maccarone, however his cross just alludes the onrushing D’Agostino, who would have had a tap in.

40′- Injury replacement signing Ross McCormack blazes high and wide from 12 yards after some good work down the right hand side by Manny Muscat.

65’- First real chance for Massimo Maccarone in Brisbane colours comes from a Joe Caletti cross. The Italian marquee man’s header from the edge of the 18 yard box was easily saved by Galekovic.

69’- Peter Skapetis made a solid run down the right hand side for the visitors but his tame effort went straight at Galekovic.

84’- Moments after entering the game for his senior debut, youngster Rahmat Akbari combined nicely with Maccarone, however he was denied a debut goal as his shot was blocked by Galekovic.

Coaches comments John Aloisi
“It was always going to be hard because we’ve had a disruptive pre-season but there was an opportunity for some younger boys to get an opportunity who I thought did well. Disappointed to concede a couple of sloppy goals, but apart from that I thought we controlled the second half and created the better chances”

Team News
Brisbane Roar XI- Theo, Hingert, Papadopoulos, North, Brown, Caletti, McKay, D’Agostino, Skapetis, Ben Khalfallah, Maccarone.
Substitutions– Oxborrow for Ben Khalfallah (79’), Akbari for D’Agostino (84’), Devere for Papadopoulos (89’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, O’Toole.
Yellow Cards- D’Agostino (24’), Ben Khalfallah (47’)
Red Cards- Nil

Melbourne City XI- Galekovic, Muscat, La Rocca, Schenkeveld, Jakobsen, Brattan, Malik, Mauk, Kamau, Fitzgerald, McCormack.
Substitutions- Budzinski for McCormack (82’), Jamieson for Fitzgerald (82’), Crowley for Mauk (90+1’)
Unused Substitutes- Bouzanis, Carrusca.
Yellow Cards- Muscat (21’), McCormack (56’)
Red Cards- Nil

Stats, Facts and Figures
– Congratulations to Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Rahmat Akbari, who became the 132nd and 133rd players to represent Brisbane Roar in a competitive game.

Up next
Brisbane Roar return home to Suncorp Stadium for the first time in the 2017-18 season for their home opener against Adelaide United next Friday night. The game starts a run of four home games in five weeks for John Aloisi’ side, giving Brisbane a perfect chance to put tonight behind them and begin to pick up points.

2017-18 Round 1 Match Preview

The long off-season has officially come to an end, with the A-League set to return tonight and for the third successive season Brisbane Roar will feature in the opening game of the season. In 2015 Brisbane ran out 3-1 winners at Parramatta Stadium against Western Sydney before a Luke Devere injury time equaliser earned Brisbane a point at home against Victory last year, this time the Roar are on the road once again as they take on Melbourne City.

Brisbane have primed themselves for this game with a couple of internal trial games over the past couple of weeks, with a 2-0 win over Sydney FC their last competitive game back on September 16th. Prior to that however due to injuries and experimentation Brisbane’s only other wins came against local sides, with losses to Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory –twice including the FFA Cup-.

Injury update
Daniel Bowles- Knee (indefinite)
Brett Holman- Calf (1 week)
Thomas Kristensen- Hamstring (2-3 weeks)
Dane Ingham- International Duty (1 week)
Eric Bautheac- Awaiting visa clearance (indefinite)

John Aloisi has been without a number of first team players with Daniel Bowles, Avram Papadopoulos, Thomas Kristensen, Brett Holman, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Corey Gameiro all missing time over the course of the pre-season.

For round one however all except Bowles –long term knee injury- and Kristensen –hamstring injury- are back in training and available for selection this weekend, in addition to Dane Ingham who is away on New Zealand World Cup Qualifying duty.

Team news
John Aloisi will definitely be without midfield duo Thomas Kristensen and Brett Holman to start the season, with Holman a late addition to the injured list after being listed as day to day for most of the week. With the experienced duo out, opportunities open up for Joe Caletti and Nick D’Agostino to start, with the latter set to occupy a slightly unfamiliar #10 role behind marquee striker Massimo Maccarone.

Winger Eric Bautheac is still stranded in France waiting for a visa clearance which ensures that pre-season revelation Peter Skapetis will make his A-League debut. Due to the number of unavailable attacking players, Young Roar attacker Rahmat Akbari is likely to be given the chance to make his A-League debut from the bench.

Expected Brisbane Roar XI- Theo, Hingert, Devere, North, Brown, Caletti, McKay, Holman, Skapetis, Ben Khalfallah, Maccarone.
Substitutes- Young, Papadopoulos, Oxborrow, Brady, D’Agostino.
Omitted– O’Toole, Akbari.

The opposition
Melbourne City have undergone a transformation over the off-season with interim manager Michael Valkanis returning to his role as an assistant as former Wigan and Manchester United youth team coach Warren Joyce arriving as the new manager.

Joyce has managed to bring in a trio of visa players to strengthen his squad in the shape of Dutch defender Bart Schenkeveld, marquee Polish midfielder Marcin Budzinski and most recently injury replacement Scottish striker Ross McCormack. Add in ex Adelaide United trio Eugene Galekovic, Iacopo La Rocca and Marcelo Carrusca and it’s been a solid off-season for City.

Injury update
Fernando Brandan- Knee
Bruno Fornaroli- Ankle
Tim Cahill- International Duty

City will be without three important attacking players to start the season, with striking duo Bruno Fornaroli and Tim Cahill headlining those unavailable. With Fornaroli out until the new year atleast, City have brought in Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack as an injury replacement and the former Scottish international is set to make his starting debut tonight at the top of the City formation.

Fellow new signing Marcin Budzinski is reportedly however behind McCormack in terms of his fitness levels and could make his debut from the bench tonight, which could open up an opportunity for Nick Fitzgerald to make a start. At the back Eugene Galekovic had his share of injury concerns over the pre-season and there is fierce competition for the goalkeeping spot at City with last years starter Dean Bouzanis remaining, however Warren Joyce has indicated that the former Adelaide United captain will start the season as first choice.

Expected Melbourne City XI- Galekovic, Muscat, Jakobsen, Schenkeveld, Jamieson, Brattan, Kilkenny, Mauk, Kamau, Fitzgerald, McCormack.
Substitutes- Bouzanis, La Rocca, Malik, Carrusca, Budzinski.
Omitted- Tongyik, Arzani.

What have they done lately?
With the League season getting underway tonight City have been busy preparing themselves for the campaign with a run to the FFA Cup quarter finals in addition to friendly matches. In the FFA Cup, City moved past NPL Queensland side Peninsula Power 2-0 in the round of 32 and Hakoah FC 3-2 in the last 16 before being beaten 2-0 away from home to Sydney FC in a replay of the 2016 Cup Final.

Outside of the Cup games City played four pre-season games against A-League opposition, with wins over Central Coast (3-2) and Adelaide United (2-0) in addition to defeats against Newcastle Jets (3-1) and Adelaide United (2-1).

All-Time Record against Melbourne City


Stats, Facts & Figures
– Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Rahmat Akbari could make their club debut tonight, and would become the 132nd and 133rd players to represent Brisbane Roar in a competitive game.

– Peter Skapetis, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Massimo Maccarone, Mitchell Oxborrow, Connor O’Toole and Rahmat Akbari could make their A-League debut for Brisbane in this game.

Late Penalty gives Roar win on Coast


Brisbane Roar (2) Skapetis 10′, Maccarone 87′ (p.k)
China u-22 (1) Wei Shihao 18′

A late Massimo Maccarone penalty has given Brisbane Roar a 2-1 win tonight against a 10 men China u-22 side on the Gold Coast.

After recently experimenting with a back 3 in recent trial games, John Aloisi reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Jade North and Luke Devere reunited in the heart of defence.  Peter Skapetis, Shannon Brady and Brett Holman supporting Maccarone in attack with Mitch Oxborrow and Matt McKay controlling midfield.

Brisbane Roar opened the scoring in the 10th minute after a Brett Holman through ball found its way to Peter Skapetis and the new signing sent his shot across the keeper and into the back of the net to open the scoring.

China u-22 equalised in the 18th minute after Wei Shihao found the back of the net after being left free in the box.

Both sides had chances to take the lead approaching half time, with Skapetis denied a second and Tang Shi’ shot from the edge if the box was acrobatically saved by Young.

The second half saw tensions rise after challenges from both sides, with the drama resulting in red card for Chinese midfielder Wei Shihao after he picked up a second yellow card.

There was yet more drama however with Brisbane awarded a penalty after VAR intervened to award a penalty for shirt holding inside the box, which Massimo Maccarone dispatched into the bottom corner to give Brisbane the win.

Brisbane Roar XI- Young, Hingert, Devere, North, Brown, McKay, Oxborrow, Holman, Brady, Skapetis, Maccarone.
Substitutions– Caletti for McKay, O’Toole for Brown, Akbari for Holman, Martinez for Brady.

China u-22 XI- Li Haitao, Liu Hao, Liu Yiming, Liu Junshuai, Liu Yang, Yang Ailong, Ju Feng, Nau Song, Tang Shi, Ba Dun, Wei Shihao.
Substitutions- Weiz Jingzong for Nan Song, Su Yuanzie for Ba Dun, Zhau Dau, Tang Shi.

Up next Brisbane Roar will travel to Ballarat for a pre-season encounter with Melbourne Victory on Friday night.

2017-18 A-League draw unveiled

Today saw the 2017-18 A-League draw released and for the third successive season Brisbane Roar will take part in the opening game of the season.

After playing Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory in the first game of the two previous seasons, Brisbane Roar will travel to AAMI Park to take on Melbourne City in the first game of the season on October 6th.

Adelaide United will be the opponents for Brisbane in their home opener in round 2 on Friday October 13th. This will be the fourth time that Brisbane will have played Adelaide in their first home game of the season, after previously doing so in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2014-15.

All up Brisbane will play 14 home games this season and 13 away games, although one of the home games has been moved to Cbus Stadium on the Gold Coast due to Paul McCartney’s concert at Suncorp Stadium on December 9th.

That concert will be the second of five major events at Suncorp Stadium over the summer months which have caused chaos around scheduling home games. In addition to the December 9th concert, there are two additional concerts to be held in March plus the Rugby League World Cup Final on December 2nd and the Global 10’s Rugby tournament in late January.

Here’s the list of upcoming events at Suncorp Stadium in the middle of the upcoming season
October 21- Rugby Union Test- Australia v New Zealand
November 24- Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final
December 2- Rugby League World Cup Final
December 9- Paul McCartney concert
Feb 10-11- Brisbane Global Rugby Tens (projected)
March 20-21- Ed Sheeran Concerts
April 1-15- Commonwealth games venue blackout

Due to that shortage of available dates Brisbane have been allocated just one Saturday night home fixture this season against Adelaide United in Round 22. In terms of marquee fixtures the home games against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers within the space of 72 hours in early January, while the home game against Melbourne Victory is set for Sunday December 17.

The stadium situation here in Brisbane as thrown up all sorts of complications for the A-League draw which is also playing a part in a lack of available dates for National Team fixtures and Brisbane Managing Director Mark Kingsman has used the draw to kick-start a campaign for a second rectangular stadium in Brisbane.

As mentioned just one of Brisbane’s 14 home games have been scheduled for the Saturday night timeslot, with two Friday night games and three Saturday afternoon games scheduled. There are also four game set for Sundays split evenly between afternoon and evening, in addition to two Thursday night fixtures and one Monday game during the Christmas holiday period.

The away games are less spread out in terms of days with three Friday night games, four Saturday afternoon games and five Saturday night games providing plenty of opportunities for away travel. Interestingly there are no currently scheduled games for a Sunday this season, although there is one game scheduled against Western Sydney on a Tuesday night in Round 26, however the venue is yet to be confirmed.

With the new TV deal coming into affect this season a greater emphasis has been placed on selecting higher profile games for the Free to Air component, with two of the three Melbourne derbies, Sydney derbies and ‘Big Blue’ fixtures set to appear on Network 10 next year.

Brisbane will appear on FTA five times this season the first of which will be in Round 8 against Sydney FC. Free to air exposure has been shared out evenly with the 10 teams set to appear at least twice over the course of the season. Sydney FC have the most FTA games with 10, followed by Victory and City who have 8 each.

Network 10 have the rights to one game per round, predominantly the Saturday 7.50pm fixture in addition to live coverage of all finals games. Fox Sports will continue to broadcast every game live, including the Finals series.

Here’s the full Brisbane Roar draw for season 2017-18

bandicam 2017-06-29 19-42-51-062

Roar retain NPL Status for 2018 season

Brisbane Roar Youth have retained their place in NPL Queensland competition after Football Queensland announced the restructuring of the competition today.

The 12 current NPL Queensland sides will all retain their status in the state’s top flight competition and be joined by two new teams, with Richlands based Lions FC and Central Queensland side Mackay & Whitsundays Magpies Crusaders United joining the newly expanded 14 team competition.

Lions FC are a name familiar to those who follow the game locally here in Brisbane and as the 2016 Champions of the Brisbane Premier League bring an additional power to the competitions Brisbane based clubs.

The competitions second new side Mackay and Whitsundays Magpies Crusaders United might be a long name but it’s an amalgamation of two strong clubs in the region, Mackay Crusaders and Magpies FC.

In addition to the NPL Queensland competition the successful applicants for the states new second division –Football Queensland Premier League- were also announced, with a plethora of Brisbane Premier League sides making the jump.

Easts, Holland Park Hawks, Ipswich Knights, Logan Lighting, Mitchelton, Peninsula Power, Rochedale Rovers, Souths United, Southside Eagles and Wolves FC all make the jump from either the Brisbane Premier League or Capital Leagues and will provide a strong capital city presence in the second tier.

They’ll be joined by four new regional sides, with  Gold Coast Athletic, Gold Coast Galaxy, Sunshine Coast Wanderers and Wide Bay all joining the competition to provide a pathway in the game for players in their regions.

At the end of the season, two sides will be relegated from the NPL Queensland and replaced by two promoted teams from the Football Queensland Premier League.

Promotion and relegation is expected to be decided by results in the senior competition, as well as the u-20’s and u-18’s, with concessions given to the regional sides and the Young Roar in the initial seasons.

For Brisbane Roar the additional competition will provide a strong test for the clubs talented young players as they look to make their way from the youth ranks into the senior A-League squad.

In addition to competing in the National Youth League over the summer months, participation in the NPL Queensland provides the pathway for players to compete year round and improve upon their games

2018 NPL Queensland participating clubs
Brisbane City, Brisbane Olympic, Brisbane Roar Youth, Brisbane Strikers, Far North Queensland Heat, Gold Coast City, Lions FC, Mackay & Whitsundays Magpies Crusaders United, Moreton Bay United, Northern Fury, Redlands United, South West Queensland Thunder, Sunshine Coast FC, Western Pride. 2018

Football Queensland Premier League participating clubs
Easts, Gold Coast Athletic, Gold Coast Galaxy, Holland Park Hawks, Ipswich Knights, Logan Lightning, Mitchelton FC, Peninsula Power, Rochedale Rovers, Southside Eagles, Souths United, Sunshine Coast Wanderers, Wide Bay, Wolves FC.

Official- Maclaren joins SV Darmstadt


Maclaren and new manager Torsten Frings (Photo- Darmstadt)

Jamie Maclaren has made a decision on his playing future after agreeing to join German club SV Darmstadt.

After being linked to over 80 clubs according to his agent, Maclaren has signed a three year deal with Darmstadt, who finished bottom of the German Bundesliga this season.

Maclaren, who scored 23 goals this season, has cemented his reputation as the best Australian striker in the A-League and has now moved on to try and establish himself in both Europe and the national side ahead of the World Cup next year.

Maclaren had clubs in England, Netherlands, Belgium and Asia all looking to secure his services, however Maclaren despite more lucrative offers Maclaren has opted for a club where there’s a greater chance for regular first team football.

Speaking to his new clubs official website, Jamie outlined that playing for the former German international was a big factor in his decision.

“I am delighted to be part of this proud club, and I would like to get to know my new teammates as soon as possible. I am really looking forward to meeting up with my new teammates for pre-season and am very excited by the new challenge that I will face playing in Germany. Torsten Frings has been a huge factor in my decision as a highly decorated player for Germany and a very talented coach who has similar ambitions to my own.”

“I hope to continue to develop and progress my career and I am confident of doing so with Torsten and Darmstadt.”

Jamie Maclaren could be joined in the German second division by attacking teammate Brandon Borrello, who has been strongly linked with Kaiserslautern. For now though he will be joined in the 2.Bundesliga by fellow Australians Mitch Langerak, Matthew Leckie and Jake Brimmer.

Brisbane’s #9 departs after scoring 43 goals in 61 appearances for the club, placing Jamie second on the all time goalscoring charts behind just Besart Berisha. Best of luck Jamie.