Getting to know Ceres-Negros

Brisbane begin their 5th AFC Champions League campaign on Tuesday night with their Preliminary Round 2 clash against Filipino side Ceres-Negros at the Queensland Sports & Athletics Centre (QSAC).

As we’ve done over the years, lets find out a little bit more about Brisbane’s opponent.

How they qualified?
Ceres-Negros qualified for the 2018 AFC Champions League as winners of the 2017 Philippines Football League, where they finished second in the league before beating Global FC in the finals series to claim the title.

In order to progress to Preliminary Round 2 of ACL qualifying, Ceres-Negros defeated Myanmar Champions Shan United on Tuesday night on penalties after the tie finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.

AFC Preliminary Round 1
Shan United (1)  Asare 99′
Ceres-Negros (1) Nyakwe 94′
Ceres-Negros progress 4-3 on penalty kicks.

As a bit of extra information, this was the Ceres-Negros starting line-up for the clash, playing in what looks to be a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Line-up v Shan United
1- Antonio Santana (GK), 4- Manuel Lopez (DF), 14- Carlos de Murga (DF), 17- Junior Munoz (DF), 28- Jeffrey Christiaens, 6- Kevin Ingreso (MF), 7) Bienvenido Maranon (MF), Omid Nazari (MF), 5) Mike Ott (MF), 12) Stephan Schrock (MF), 29) Patrick Reichelt (FW)

Ceres-Negros was formed in 2012 and has quickly gone on to make a name for themselves as a club in the Filipino footballing scene. Starting out as a team composed mostly of College players, Ceres-Negros quickly built their reputation and started to attract national team players to the club.

In 2017, no less than 11 Ceres-Negros players represented the national side.

Philippine Football League Champions- (2017)
United Football League Champions (2014, 2015)
PFF National Men’s Club Championship winners (2013, 2014)
UFL FA League Cup Winner (2014)

Record in Asia
2018 is Ceres- Negros’ first appearance in the AFC Champions League.

They do however have an extensive history of participating in the AFC’s secondary club competitions, beginning with the 2014 AFC Presidents Cup where they finished 3rd in Group B.

Three consecutive appearances in the AFC Cup were to follow, with a qualifying loss to Maldive side Maziya in 2015, before reaching the last 16 a year late. In 2017 Ceres-Negros made it to the Inter-zone Semi-Final before losing 5-1 on aggregate to Tajikistan side Istiklol.

Manager- Risto Vidakovic
Ceres-Negros are lead by former Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro international, who joined the Filipino Champions ahead of the 2016 season. As a player Vidakovic spent the majority of his career playing in Spain for the likes of Real Betis, Osasuna and Poli Ejido and it was in Spain where he got his first coaching opportunity with Ecija.

Stints with Cadiz and the Real Betis B team were to follow, before a move across the world beckoned to Honduran club Motagua.

Notable players
Antonio Santana
37 year old Spanish goalkeeper
177 games in Spain for Real Betis, Real  Zaragoza, Huesca and Xerez
Spent 2017 season with San Fernando in Segunda Division B

Bienvenido Maranon
31 year old Spanish winger
Played in Spain for Cadiz, Villarrubia, Mostoles, La Hoya Lorca and Soucellamos
15 goals in 47 games for Ceres- Negros

Mike Ott
22 year old German born midfielder
77 games for 1860 Munich II and FC Nurnberg II
Spent 2017 playing for Angthong in Thailand (7 goals in 21 games)
12 caps for Phillippines
Brother Manuel Ott also plays for Ceres Negros


2017 in Review

It’s been another mixed bag for Brisbane Roar this year as they continued their streak of A-League finals appearances and returned to the Champions League, however there were also some low moments including the start to the current season. So as 2017 comes to an end, let’s look back at the year that was.

A-League 2016-17
2017 started with a home loss to Newcastle Jets way back on January 7 thanks to a late Morten Nordstrand winner, with the first win of the year arriving a couple of weeks later away to Wellington thanks to a late Jamie Maclaren goal.

The January transfer window was a quiet one for the Roar with Dimitri Petratos’ move to Ulsan Hyundai looked to be only activity in the window however when Daniel Bowles picked up a serious knee injury away to Melbourne City, John Aloisi turned to Australian born former Greek international defender Avram Papadopoulos as an injury replacement.

Brisbane rounded out the regular season in third place after a last day come from behind win over Wellington Phoenix at home, which set up an Elimination Final with sixth placed Western Sydney Wanderers in week one of the finals.

In true Brisbane fashion they did things the hard way in that Elimination Final with a second half Jamie Maclaren goal levelling the scores before goalkeeper Jamie Young –who entered the game in extra time due to an injury to Michael Theo- became the hero by saving Jumpei’s spot kick to secure progression to the Semi-Finals.


Jamie Young was the hero on another dramatic finals night at Suncorp Stadium. (Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images AsiaPac)

That Semi-Final would take place in Melbourne against the well rested Victory while a tired Brisbane side from travelling to Thailand midweek arrived with question marks over the fitness of Jamie Young, and it was former Roar striker Besart Berisha who scored the games only goal to send the Victory to the Grand Final and ending Brisbane’s A-League campaign.

Looking to Asia
While Brisbane were busy securing a seventh successive finals appearance on the domestic front, January also saw Brisbane begin a fourth AFC Champions League campaign with a home game against Filipino side Global FC.

Goals from Brandon Borrello and Manuel Arana secured a comfortable win and a trip to Shanghai the following week, while youngsters like Dane Ingham and Joe Caletti made their first team debuts. A week later another Brandon Borrello goal in addition to a second from Tommy Oar secured Brisbane’s biggest result in Asia to date in a 2-0 win which secured a spot in the Group Stage.

That win over Shanghai placed Brisbane in Group E alongside Kashima Antlers, Ulsan Hyundai and Muanthong United, whom Brisbane drew with 0-0 at home on the opening matchday. Losses to Kashima and Ulsan saw Brisbane languishing at the halfway mark of the Group Stage before a home win over Kashima on Matchday 4 ensured Brisbane’s first win at home in the competition proper.

A loss away to Muanthong with an under strength loss due to the A-League Finals campaign ended Brisbane’s chances of progression, with the most notable part of the game being goalkeeper Jamie Young ripping skin from his arm due to a rusty nail on a goal post.

Brisbane’s front line underwent a massive transformation in the off-season with youngsters Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren departing to try their luck in Germany, while Thomas Broich was honoured as the clubs inaugural hall of famer after he completed his seventh and final season with the Roar. Others who moved on included Manuel Arana, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Kye Rowles, Cameron Crestani, Joey Katebian and Tommy Oar which ensured it would be a very different Roar line-up in 2017-18.

That new line-up would be reliant upon experience with ex Victory winger Fahid Ben Khalfallah and former Italian international Massimo Maccarone brought into fill the void in the attacking third. Joining the veteran duo for the new season were Corey Gameiro, Peter Skapetis, Brendan White, Eric Bautheac and Ivan Franjic who returned to Brisbane in October after four seasons away.

The pre-season saw a mixed bag of results with wins over defending champion Sydney FC and a Chinese Olympic side coupled with hefty defeats to Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory. Perhaps most alarmingly was the 5-1 loss in the FFA Cup Round of 32 which saw Brisbane bow out at the first hurdle for the third straight season in a lacklustre performance at Perry Park.

The injury crisis which would hamper the upcoming season was evident from very early on with a number of key players missing big chunks of the pre-season including Avram Papadopoulos, Thomas Kristensen and new signing Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

A-League 2017-18
Brisbane featured in the first game of the season for the third straight time however on this occasion a Bruce Kamau brace made it a first up loss for John Aloisi’ men. Further losses at home to Newcastle and Adelaide followed as Brisbane struggled out of the gate due to injuries and cohesion, with a first win not arriving until a win at home over Melbourne City in mid November.

The season has been a frustrating one to date with little consistency due to the ever growing injury list, however there was a bit of hope in the final game of 2017 with a gutsy 2-1 win over Adelaide United yesterday which could kick start a misfiring campaign.

Milestones and stats
– Matt McKay became the first player to play 250 games in all competitions for Brisbane Roar.

– Luke Devere became the 13th player to play 100 games in all competitions for Brisbane Roar.

– Peter Skapetis became the 9th Brisbane player to score on his competitive debut in the FFA Cup Round of 32 loss to Melbourne Victory. Skapetis is the first since Andrija Kaluderovic back in the 2014-15 season.

– Jamie Maclaren became the first player to score multiple hat-tricks for Brisbane Roar when he scored three times against Central Coast in Round 25. Meanwhile Brandon Borrello became the 7th different person to score three in one game when he did so against Global FC in the ACL Playoff.

– Brisbane set a new longest run with a win when they went 10 games without a win from the ACL Matchday 5 loss to Muanthong April 26 through the Round 6 A-League loss to Melbourne Victory on November 11.

– 16 players made their debut in 2017, including 9 academy graduates. In order: Dane Ingham, Joe Caletti, Cameron Crestani, Kye Rowles, Avram Papadopoulos, Tomislav Bilic, Connor O’Toole, Peter Skapetis, Massimo Maccarone, Mitchell Oxborrow, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Rahmat Akbari, Eric Bautheac, Corey Gameiro, Adam Sawyer and Daniel Leck.

16-17 Finals Run in

2017 start third straight defeat for Mel Andreatta’s side with a 4-1 loss at home to Melbourne Victory which left Brisbane in a perilous position in terms of qualifying for the finals series. A 3-0 win in the teams’ final home win of the season over the Wanderers provided hope, hover losses to Newcastle and Melbourne City ensured the Roar missed the finals for the second in three seasons.

Ahead of the new season Mel Andreatta reshaped her squad with a number of high profile arrivals, headlined by American midfielder Celeste Boureille and Matildas winger Hayley Raso who helped Canberra United to the Premiership the previous year. American defender Carson Pickett Hong Kong striker Wai-Ki Cheung and midfielder Ayesha Norrie arrived to add quality to the squad.

Going the other way were a handful of first team regulars from the season prior, notably including American midfielder Maddy Evans, Danish defender Nina Frausing-Pedersen and left Back Angela Beard; who travelled the well worn path from Brisbane to Melbourne Victory.

2017-18 Resurgence
Brisbane went into the Christmas break on top of the table and the Roar have been in and around the league’s summit from the very beginning, with a first up win away to Sydney where they took the lead early on and never looked back.


Brisbane have undergone a W-League resurgence in 2017. (Paul Kane/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Five wins out of seven have lead Brisbane’s resurgence, with the away form being a particular highlight with three wins out of three so far this season. In the final home game of 2017 Brisbane broke a 5 game losing streak against Melbourne City, securing their first win over the two time defending Champions with a 2-0 win thanks to Allira Toby and Katrina Gorry.

Brisbane’s final W-League game of 2017 was in a top of the table clash away to Perth Glory and second half goals from Hayley Raso and Allira Toby ensured the Roar would start 2018 two points clear at the top of the table.

Milestones and stats
– Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Butt became the first and second players respectively to play 100 W-League games for Brisbane Roar.

– Mackenzie Arnold’ 5 clean sheets so far in 2017-18 is the most since Casey Dumont back in season 3 of the competition.

– 6 players made their W-League debut for Brisbane Roar in 2017. In order: Georgina Worth, Carston Pickett, Celeste Boureille, Wai-Ki Cheung, Hollie Palmer and Lucinda Pullar.

2017 for the Young Roar started away to Melbourne City with arguably the biggest win of the season in a 4-0 rout over the eventual Champions thanks to braces for Danny Driver and Joey Katebian. Ultimately however a home loss to Perth and a draw in Adelaide saw Brisbane end the season second in Conference A, two points behind City.

Attention then turned to the 2017 NPL Queensland campaign where a younger than usual Brisbane side finished in 11th place with 18 points. Amongst the more notable results were a 4-3 win over 2017 Champion Western Pride in Round 2 in a game where Brisbane lead 4-0 before a late Pride rally, and a 7-2 home win over Sunshine Coast in Round 18 in one of the sides better performances of the season. Big derby defeats to Strikers however in Rounds 10 (5-0) and 21 (4-1) were amongst the more disappointing results this year.

Rounding out the year for the Young Roar was the start of the 17-18 NYL campaign, which began with a comprehensive loss away to Melbourne City. Wins over Victory and Glory followed before a home loss to Adelaide saw Brisbane drop to third place at the halfway mark before a 3-0 to City leaves Brisbane mid-table.

Player Development
Results aren’t the only important factor for the Young Roar, player development is also vital and in 2017 a number of players got their chance in the first team and proved they belonged.

All up there were 9 first team debuts handed out to players starting out in the academy- amongst the more notable were Joe Caletti and Dane Ingham, who along with fellow youngster Nick D’Agostino went on to establish themselves as regular members of the A-League squad in 2017 with a string of impressive performances.

Ingham in particular who saw a meteoric rise this year, going from the Young Roar, to the first team and then onto the international stage with the All-Whites where he played in the Confederations Cup and was part of New Zealand’s World Cup Qualification campaign.

Others who excelled in the side but are still waiting for their chance in the first team include defender Aaron Reardon, midfielder Emilio Martinez and striker Nathan Yoon.

As always however there are players who slip through the net and 2017 saw two young attackers get their first team debut in the hunter. This year the most notable are Harrison Sawyer and Joseph Champness, both of who moved south to Newcastle. Champness has been a revelation this year for the high flying Jets with two goals in 13 games this season, while Sawyer has been a regular goalscorer for Filipino club Davao Aguilas after leaving the Jets.

In comparison to preseason years’, 2017 was a relatively quiet year off the field for Brisbane with the clubs ownership situation much more stable than in previous years.

It wouldn’t be Brisbane Roar without some rocky moments however and things appeared to be heading the wrong direction in October when Managing Director Mark Kingsman was sacked just weeks into the season. That drama however was quickly neutralised when former Managing Director David Pourre returned to the club to try and sort out the clubs commercial situation.

The big focus off the field in 2017 – particularly lately- is surrounding the training and medical facilities given the lengthy injury list which has hampered the 2017-18 season. The good news on the training ground front however was the beginning of work on the clubs new training & administration base in Logan, a facility which should be ready for use in early 2018.

In addition to training base, the other major development in 2017 has been the launch of the academy, with Drew Sherman coming in to set up the foundations ahead of the first season next year.

2018 Preview
So as we turn to the focus towards 2018 there’s still a lot to look forward to with the A-League potentially set for a second half resurgence and if not there’s still the Champions League qualifiers to come in late January.

In the W-League Brisbane enter 2018 on top of the table and in position to challenge for silverware for the first time in four seasons as the competition reaches the business end.

While the Young Roar have been all but eliminated from the NYL Grand Final picture there’s still opportunities for players to press their case for first team opportunities in the latter rounds and also the newly expanded NPL Queensland which is set to kick off in early February.

The start of the NPL will also usher in the first season for Brisbane’s newly formed academy while the clubs current dramas around the training ground will be solved when the new Logan training base opens early in the new year.

There’s also a lot to look forward to on the international front with many of Brisbane’s W-League squad set to test themselves at the Asian Cup in Jordan while of course all eyes will be on the Socceroos as they embark on a fourth straight World Cup campaign in Russia.

2017-18 R13 A-League Recap- Veterans help Brisbane end 2017 on winning note.


(Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Adelaide United (1) Blackwood 69’
Brisbane Roar (2) Ben Khalfallah 33’, Maccarone 45+1’
At Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Brisbane Roar have finished 2017 on a winning note with a gutsy 2-1 win away from home in Adelaide on Saturday afternoon. First half goals from Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Massimo Maccarone sent Brisbane on their way before club captain Matt McKay was sent off for lashing out at Nikola Mileusnic right before halftime in his 250th game for the Roar.

Adelaide continued to press hard for goals in the second half but despite controlling possession and territory the home side could only manage the one strike in response, with George Blackwood scoring from close range.  John Aloisi’ men had to dig deep in the second half to hold out the rampaging Reds side and it’s a win which could see Brisbane make a surge up the table in 2018.

Key moments
33’ (0-1) Despite being under pressure for the majority of proceedings, Brisbane got themselves a shock opener after Isaias’ slip allowed Fahid Ben Khalfallah in, and the winger rounded Paul Izzo before slotting the ball into the back of the net for his first goal for Brisbane.

45+1 (0-2) Brisbane doubled their lead in first half stoppage time after a Fahid Ben Khalfallah through ball found Massimo Maccarone and the Italian showed plenty of composure to chip the ball into the corner of the net.

45+2’ (Red Card) Right on the stroke of half time, Brisbane captain Matt McKay was shown a direct red card for lashing out at Nikola Mileusnic following a 50-50 challenge. Initially the referee gave McKay a yellow card upon the advice of his assistant, however after a VAR review the sanction was upgraded to a red card.

69’(1-2) Adelaide got themselves a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining after Nikola Mileusnic’ shot bounced back off the post to George Blackwood who had a tap in from close range with the keeper out of play

Team News
Brisbane XI
– Young, Hingert, Pepper, Devere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Ben Khalfallah, Akbari, Skapetis, Maccarone.
Substitutions- Oxborrow for Akbari (45’), Gameiro for Skapetis (68’), O’Toole for Maccarone (90’)
Unused Substitutes– White, Leck.
Yellow Cards– Brown (23’), Ben Khalfallah (71’).
Red Cards– McKay 45+2’.

Adelaide United XI– Izzo, Strain, Elsey, Gulum, Garuccio, Isaias, Konstandopoulos, Adlung, Kitto, Mileusnic, Blackwood.
Substitutions– Garuccio for Marrone (56’), Absalonsen for Konstandopoulos (56’), Regan for Gulum (81’).
Unused Substitutes– Margush, O’Doherty.
Yellow Cards– Gulum (1’).
Red Cards– Nil.

Stats, Facts & Figures
Matt McKay made his 250th appearance for Brisbane Roar in all competitions in today’s game.

– McKay was also sent off for the 6th time in his Brisbane Roar career, and for the third time against Adelaide United.

– McKay’s red card was Brisbane’s 30th in all competitions.

– Fahid Ben Khalfallah becomes the 75th different goalscorer for Brisbane Roar in today’s 2-1 win over Adelaide United.

Up next
Brisbane Roar return home to start 2018 in back to back games against the two Sydney clubs. Brisbane will face defending champions Sydney FC on January 8, however first up they will take on Western Sydney Wanderers on January 5th.

Roar sign GK White as mature age rookie


(Picture: Ray Gardner/ Redland City Bulletin)

Brisbane Roar have signed goalkeeper Brendan White on a mature age rookie contract ahead of tomorrow’s Round 5 A-League clash with Central Coast

While White has reportedly been with the Roar for a couple of days, the announcement of his arrival comes on the back of the news that first choice shot stopper Michael Theo has been ruled out of tomorrow afternoon’s clash with the Mariners.

The signing of White comes on the back of the departure of Young Roar keeper Tomislav Bilic, who was a notable absentee when the 2017-18 National Youth League squad was announced earlier this week.

White, 25, has previous experience in the A-League set-up as a member of the successful Gold Coast United youth sides which won back to back titles in 2010 and 2011.

More recently White was in goal for Redlands United’s 2016 FFA Cup campaign, which saw the Red Devils upset A-League champion Adelaide United in the Round of 32 before losing to NPL Capital Football side Canberra Olympic in the last 16.

In the 2017 season, White moved south to NPL Victoria side Port Melbourne, where he made 26 appearances this season in a side that finished 11th in the Victorian top flight.

Including scholarship contracted players; the signing of White takes Brisbane’s squad size up to 27 players, with that depth set to play a role in the coming weeks due to the current injury crisis and the upcoming AFC Champions League campaign.

Brisbane Roar 2017-18 squad as at 04/11/2017
: Michael Theo, Brendan White, Jamie Young.
Defenders: Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Dane Ingham, Jade North, Avram Papadopoulos, Connor O’Toole.
Midfielders: Bryce Bafford, Jay Barnett, Eric Bautheac, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Emilio Martinez, Matt McKay, Mitchell Oxborrow, Jacob Pepper.
Forwards: Nicholas D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro, Massimo Maccarone, Peter Skapetis.

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.