Wounded Roar strong enough to bite Reds

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In this top of the table clash, 14 420 people came out to watch Adelaide United attempt to beat the only Queensland side they have not tasted victory over this season, Brisbane Roar.

Both sides had plenty to play for, with a loss for Adelaide meaning they could kiss the Premier’s Plate goodbye, while Roar wanted to equal the A-League’s record of most away matches undefeated.

Adelaide couldn’t have asked for a better Roar line-up to extract revenge on the side that dismantled the Reds 4-0 earlier in the season with no Thomas Broich, Matt McKay or Ivan Franjic for the visitors. In the end, however, the Roar had enough depth to instil Adelaide’s fith loss in only seven matches while increasing their undefeated run to nineteen.

The Roar started sluggish and with a little luck Adelaide could have made them pay in the 5th minute. Cassio, shooting from out wide on a difficult angle had his attempt tipped onto the bar by Michael Theoklitos.

Unlike last week he didn’t need a deflection to get the shot on target, but did have a deflection in the lead up as referee Mathew Breeze almost nabbed himself his first assist in his 111th Hyundai A-League Match, wrong-footing the Brisbane defence.

From that moment on Brisbane clicked into gear dominating possession, field position and dictating play for the rest of the half.

Mitch Nichols was running things in midfield, and with both Milan Susak and Shane Stefanutto going forward and linking with an involved Jean Carlos Solorzano the Oranje looked dangerous.

Try as they may though they could not find a goal, and apart from a few scares, uncharacteristically the Adelaide defence held strong.

Although there was a lack of goals, the quality of football being played at Hindmarsh was very high. With Brisbane’s dominating style contrasting nicely to the counter-attacking game Adelaide were forced to adopt there were chances to both sides and everyone was on the edge of their seats.

Coming out at half time the match turned quite dour, both sides keeping possession with no penetration in fear of making a mistake. It took a little bit of initiative from young Brisbane substitute Luke Brattan to instigate the first real chance of the half.

Brattan started off the move which also involved Solorzano and Kosta Barbarouses, ending with a ball into the box for an attempted Nichols bicycle kick. It went just went high.

It was suddenly clear that this little foray was just a taste of things to come as the game opened up again, with chances to both sides until the 69th minute when Solorzano grabbed what ultimately was the crucial goal.

A move once again started by Brattan was completed by Solorzano who got the ball via an Iain Fyfe deflection from another Nichols pass. It allowed the Costa Rican striker to pass the ball past the onrushing Birighitti to the far post for his tenth goal of the campaign.

This is how the score line stayed, although it could have very easily have been different with only the post denying Henrique on his return from injury, and fantastic keeping by Theoklitos denying Nigel Boogaard.

Brisbane Roar will be very pleased, proving to everyone that they can win without their stars, while Adelaide will have to change things very quickly as they their hopes of winning anything this season continues to dwindle.

Credit to Iain Ramsey for his first half performance, and both Luke Brattan and Henrique for Brisbane, the pair looking very lively and showing there is more to the Roar than the starting eleven.

Goals:
Jean Carlos SOLORZANO ‘69

Yellow Cards:
Mitch NICHOLS ‘30
Milan SUSAK ‘41
Robert CORNTHWAITE ‘90

Adelaide United: 3.Nigel BOOGAARD (Robert CORNTHWAITE ’85), 4.Iain FYFE, 6.CASSIO (Fabian BARBIERO ’77), 8.Adam HUGHES (Travis DODD ’67), 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI, 26.Joe KEENAN

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (Matt MUNDY ‘90+5), 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (HENRIQUE ’66), 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 14. Rocky VISCONTE (Luke BRATTAN ’49), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 23. Milan SUSAK

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Christian Layland
Christian is co-founder and Chief of Staff of The Football Sack and has worked in media/marketing for FIFA, AFC, Football Australia, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Melbourne Victory. Also a coach, Christian has been on the Y-League coaching staff for Wanderers, and the A-League coaching staff for Central Coast Mariners.

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