Maccarone brace completes second half comeback

Brisbane Roar (4) Skapetis 30’, D’Agostino 69’, Maccarone 75’ (p.k), 88’
Peninsula Power (2) Briggs 2’, Strickland 38’
At A.J. Kelly Park, Redcliffe.

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Brisbane Roar have made it two wins from two in their 2017 pre-season campaign after a second half fight back saw the Roar defeat Peninsula Power 4-2 in Redcliffe on Saturday afternoon. A second half brace from new marquee Massimo Maccarone on his debut, with Nick D’Agostino and trialist Peter Skapetis also getting on the scoreboard.

Goals
0-1 (3’) It was a dream start for the home side with Dean Briggs free-kick from 35 yards beating Tomislav Bilic on the near post to give the home side an early lead.

1-1 (30’) Brisbane got themselves back into the game on the half hour mark through trialist Peter Skapetis after a defensive mix-up from the Peninsula defenders.

2-1 (38’) Peninsula restored their goal advantage minutes before the half time interval after some good work down the right hand side saw Thomas Strickland strike home from the edge of the box.

2-2 (69’) With Massimo Maccarone waiting to make his entrance on the bench, Nick D’Agostino levelled the scores from close range after a Matt McKay cross.

2-3 (75’) After a handball from a Corey Brown cross, Brisbane’s marquee man stepped up to the spot to score his first goal in Brisbane’s colours, sending Jake Reesby the wrong way in the Power goal.

2-4 (88’) Massimo Maccarone scored a late goal for the Roar as he rounded the substitute keeper in goal for Power as he finished off a well worked move.

First half youngsters
Brisbane fielded two distinctly different sides with the first half featuring a large number of players from the Young Roar side getting an opportunity to impress John Aloisi ahead of the new season. Amongst that group were first team duo Luke Devere and Mitch Oxborrow, in addition to former QPR and Stoke City attacker Peter Skapetis who is currently trialling with the squad.

The 22 year old attacker player the first half of the game, floating around the front third of the pitch for the Roar and looked lively enough to suggest he has something to offer. Of the Young Roar players who got the chance to start the game, Emilio Martinez looked the sharpest, while Rahmat Akbari played an unfamiliar deep lying midfield role after spending the NPL season playing in a no.10 role behind Nathan Yoon.

Second half changes
John Aloisi made 11 changes at the half-time break and in doing so reverted back to a more familiar looking line-up as the first team players got their chance to tune up ahead of Wednesday’s FFA Cup tie against Melbourne Victory.

Similarly to the Lions game, Brisbane played a 3-6-1 formation once again, although this week there was a slight change on the right hand side with Jack Hingert spending the second half on the right side of the back three while Dane Ingham played the more advanced wing backs role. Joining Hingert and Jade North in the back three was Thomas Kristensen, with the central midfielder looking at home in the heart of defence.

Going forward Brisbane looked more dangerous in the second half, with Nick D’Agostino looking sharp upfront with a handful of chances before he ultimately found the net seconds before being replaced.

The departure of D’Agostino paved the way for Brisbane’s new marquee man Massimo Maccarone to enter the fray, and it took the former Italian international just five minutes to open his goalscoring account in what was a lively cameo.

Peninsula pressure
In one of the biggest weeks in Peninsula’s history, the Power got off to a flying start thanks to a Dean Briggs free-kick and the home side caused the Young Roar side all sorts of problems in the first half with their midfield intensity a feature.

After a busy week which saw Peninsula make their FFA Cup debut on Tuesday, the home side found things more difficult in the second half against a stronger Brisbane side, although the attacking duo of Charles Mendy and Dean Briggs still carved out a couple of chances, although a free-kick past the near post is as close as they came.

Brisbane Roar XI (First half) – Bilic, Wellsmore, DeVere, Harris, Leck, Oxborrow, Akbari, O’Toole, Martinez, Skapetis, Yoon.
Second half XI– Freke, Hingert, Kristensen, North, Ingham, Caletti, McKay, Brown, Holman, D’Agostino (70’), Brady.
Substitutes– Maccarone (70’).
Unused substitutes– Sawyer, Beakhurst.

Peninsula Power XI- Reesby, Carseldine, Boyd, Spiandorrello, Cunha, Hurlin, Bonotto, Basson, Strickland, Briggs, Mendy.

Up next
After a pair of pre-season hit-outs against Brisbane Premier League opposition, competitive football is back with Melbourne Victory making the trip north to take on Brisbane in the FFA Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday night at Perry Park.


Brisbane sign Massimo Maccarone on marquee deal

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(Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images Europe)

Brisbane Roar have found their replacement for departed striker Jamie Maclaren, with former Italian international Massimo Maccarone arriving on a one year deal as the clubs new marquee player.

Maccarone, 37, brings a large degree of top level experience with him to Brisbane, having played in the Serie A with Parma, Siena, Palermo, Sampdoria and Empoli in addition to spending four seasons in the Premier League with Middlesbrough back in the mid 2000’s.

After starting out with Serie C club Prato, Maccarone moved to Empoli in 2000 where his 26 goals in 68 appearances saw him earn a call up to the National side despite playing in Italy’s second tier.

A move to the Premier League with Middlesbrough soon followed and the Italian played a role in their 2004 League Cup triumph and their run to the 2006 UEFA Cup Final.

As a marquee player Maccarone joins a short list of players to fill that role at the Roar, following in the footsteps of Craig Moore, Thomas Broich and Matt McKay. Brett Holman is set to join Maccarone as the other marquee player for the upcoming season. Tommy Oar was set to fill one of the two outside of the cap spots this season before his departure to APOEL FC which opened up the possibility of signing Maccarone.

Maccarone then returned to Italy in 2007 to play in the Serie A for the first time in his career, where he joined Siena. Additional moves to Palermo and Sampdoria followed before Maccarone returned to Empoli in 2011 with the goal of returning the club to the Serie A.

In his second spell at the club Maccarone scored 63 goals in 176 appearances over six seasons, helping the club back to the Serie a back in 2013-14. Last season was a bit of a down year however for both Maccarone and Empoli, with the striker netting just the 5 goals in 28 appearances last season as Empoli was relegated back to the Serie B after a three year stay in the top tier.

As mentioned Maccarone was called up to represent the National side back in 2002 ahead of the World Cup making the two appearances for Italy, the first of which was as a substitute against England.

The one thing that Maccarone brings above anything else to the Roar squad is experience, although how he fits in as a replacement for a younger, more mobile striker in Jamie Maclaren will be interesting. How the 37 year old deals with the heat and humidity here in Australia is also a question.

Maccarone adds some experience to Brisbane’s striking options and figures to start the season as the clubs first choice number 9, with Nicholas D’Agostino and Corey Gameiro in reserve. The big need in the final third is now in the wide areas where options are currently limited to new signing Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady and perhaps Gameiro.

The signing of Maccarone takes Brisbane’s squad to 20 players, with both marquee spaces now full along with three of the five visa spots. Previously John Aloisi hinted that there would be two more signings in the final third with a winger and a striker the priority, so with Maccarone in the bag attention is likely to switch towards the flanks.

Brisbane Roar squad as at 17/07/2017
Goalkeepers– Michael Theo, Jamie Young.
Defenders- Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Luke Devere, Jack Hingert, Dane Ingham, Jade North, Connor O’Toole, Avram Papadopoulos.
Midfielders– Joe Caletti, Brett Holman, Thomas Kristensen, Matt McKay, Jacob Pepper.
Forwards- Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Shannon Brady, Nicholas D’Agostino, Corey Gameiro, Massimo Maccarone.