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 escape with point in Western Sydney

Western Sydney Wanderers (1) Kusukami 56’
Brisbane Roar (1) Maclaren 18’ (p.k)
11,201 at Spotless Stadium, Sydney

Brisbane Roar have escaped Western Sydney tonight with a point after picking up their third straight draw of the season with a 1-1 draw tonight with the Wanderers. Jamie Maclaren’s 18th minute penalty was cancelled out by Jumpei Kusukami’ first goal in the A-League.


(Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac)

18’ (0-1) After a heavy touch trying to control a cross from Arana on the right hand side, Jamie Maclaren was clumsily brought down by goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson and referee Adam Fielding pointed to the spot. Maclaren picked himself up and blasted his penalty straight down the middle to open the scoring. The penalty itself was one of those classic 50-50 calls which in this case

56’ (1-1) Western Sydney started the second half in the ascendency and were rewarded for their play when Jack Clisby and Nico Martinez combined down the left hand side, with the left back squaring the ball across the face of goal for Jumpei Kusukami to slot home from close range.

The opening stages of the saw both sides have their chances, firstly with Mitch Nichols’ header going straight at Theo before Manuel Arana linked up neatly with Holman, whose chance was denied by Tyson.

After spending the week in the headlines for off-field reasons Jamie Maclaren found himself in the headlines once again, with the striker winning and then converting a penalty to put Brisbane into the lead. The strike is Maclaren’s 8th in 5 A-League games against Western Sydney for the Roar and his 23rd goal for Brisbane in 33 appearances.

Western Sydney were able to get into the ascendency early in the second half and made their dominance pay off with an equaliser from Kusukami, and probably should won the game as Nico Martinez and Brendon Santalab both going extremely close to a winner.

The final chance of the game fell to Dimitri Petratos, whose free kick was turned past the post by Tyson in goal for the Wanderers.

For the second week in a row Brisbane can thank Michael Theo for coming away from the game with a point, with the five time A-League winner making a string of important saves off the likes of Martinez, Nichols, Jumpei and Santalab. All up Brisbane’s #1 made 10 saves on the night and has justified the faith shown in him by Aloisi after his run of injuries in recent years.

At the other end of the park, Manuel Arana made his first start for Brisbane and while he faded before being substituted after an hour, in the first half he showed signs that has plenty to offer in future weeks, especially the linkup play for the Holman chance early on. While it’s fair to suggest that he switched off on their goal by not tracking Clisby’s overlapping run there’s also others you can point at later in the move, and overall he added to the way Brisbane were trying to play with his direct style.

Brisbane Roar- Theo, Hingert, DeVere, North, Brown, Pepper, McKay, Holman, Arana, Broich, Maclaren.
Substitutions- Oar for Arana (63’), Petratos for Holman (73’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Bowles, Konstandopoulos.
Yellow Cards- Pepper.
Red Cards- Nil.

Western Sydney Wanderers-  Tyson, Neville, Borda, Aspropotamitis, Clisby, Pinatares, Dimas, Nichols, Kusukami, Martine, Bulut.
Substitutions- Baccus for Pinatares (55’), Santalab for Bulut (70’), Lustica for Nichols (89’).
Unused Substitutes- Redmayne, Hamill.
Yellow Cards- Borda, Dimas, Bulut.
Red Cards- Nil.

Up next
Brisbane are halfway through a two game road trip and will be heading to Melbourne for the first time this season with a game against Melbourne City on Saturday night at AAMI Park. Having not beaten Melbourne City –the Heart- since Round 15 of the 2010-11 season, three points away is long overdue.

Maclaren sends Brisbane second with win over City

Brisbane Roar (1) Maclaren 11’
Melbourne City (0)
20,198 at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane

A quick recap this week but Brisbane Roar have made it three wins in a row with a 1-0 win tonight over Melbourne City in their 300th game in the competition. An early goal from Jamie Maclaren was enough to secure the points and send Brisbane ahead of City and into second on the table.

11’ (1-0) Tommy Oar beat the offside trap following a through ball by Thomas Broich, with the winger rounding Dean Bouzanis before his over-hit touch found it’s way to the onrushing Jamie Maclaren who slotted home into an empty net to score the games only goal.

In recent times and going back to the end of last season, questions have been raised over the solidity of Brisbane’s backline, however the defending tonight was spectacular and limited City to just a handful of corners in the final third despite their obvious firepower.

Corey Brown, a much maligned member of the back four was peppered for most of the night by Kamau and Brandan however he stood up extremely well in what is his best game for Brisbane, while DeVere and North marshalled one of the league’s best forward lines expertly.

It’s only one game and perhaps we’ll know more in future weeks with games against Sydney FC and a return clash against City in Melbourne, but the signs tonight are very encouraging.

Counter Attacking
The big attacking weapon tonight for Brisbane was the counter attack, where Aloisi utilised the pace of Maclaren and Oar to get in behind a City back three which struggled to deal with them. While the numerous counter attacking opportunities failed to deliver a goal, they did deliver chances and on another day could have resulted in the ball finding the back of the net.

City’s stuttering attack
Melbourne’s highly touted attacking threats have been extremely dangerous over the opening month of the season, but despite their advantage of possession they were unable to create a single shot on target in the 90 minutes. Brisbane’s solidity in defence deserves praise as mentioned above, however there’s no getting around the fact it wasn’t the best performance from those in the final third for City.

 Up Next
After a five day turnaround between game over the past week, Brisbane now have a full week to prepare for next Friday’s trip to Adelaide United. The hype between these two sides is likely to be Henrique’s first game against his former club, although Brisbane’s former Grand Final hero is unlikely to take part in the fixture due to injury.

Brisbane Roar- Theo, Hingert, North, DeVere, Brown, Kristensen, McKay, Holman, Oar, Broich, Maclaren
Substitutions- Petratos for Holman (74’), Borrello for Oar (77’), Arana for Broich (83’).
Unused Substitutes- Young, Bowles.
Yellow Cards- Maclaren, Brown, Borrello.
Red Cards- Nil.

Melbourne City- Bouzanis, Muscat, Jakobsen, Kilkenny, Rose, Retre, Brattan, Kamau, Brandan, Cahill, Fornaroli.
Substitutions- Caceres for Retre (71’), Fitzgerald for Kamau (73’), Franjic for Rose (84’).
Unused Substituted- Sorensen, Malik.
Yellow Cards- Brattan, Muscat.
Red Cards- Nil.