Brisbane Roar run rings around Olympic

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Brisbane Roar kicked off their preseason campaign on Tuesday night with an impressive 5-0 win against Brisbane Premier League side Olympic FC at Goodwin Park, Yeronga.

Credit: Brisbane Roar

A second half hat-trick from star striker Besart Berisha did the bulk of the damage for Roar, who fielded a different line-up for each of the match’s forty minute halves.

The A-League side ably demonstrated that the off-season break and a change of manager has done little to dull their cutting edge style as they fell back into their high-tempo passing game with noticeable ease against their part-time opposition.
Many of those in attendance were eager to catch their first glimpse of the Roar’s new Korean signing Dong-Hyun Do and the left-sided winger didn’t disappoint. His jinking runs and clever flicks indicate he will prove a handful for opposition defenders come the season proper.
Roar predictably dominated the match from the outset and it was Do that almost opened the scoring barely five minutes into the match. After showing a sharp turn of pace to swoop on an errant pass at the back, Do wrong-footed a scrambling defender before unleashing a well-struck shot that was superbly saved by outstretched Olympic keeper, and Roar youth squad member, James Eccles.
Roar’s midfield, including fan favourites Thomas Broich and Erik Paartalu, proved a constant threat throughout the first half however despite some impressive build-up play the final pass eluded the defending A-League champions.
Meanwhile, Olympic rarely threatened during the opening stanza, the home side relying on hopeful long balls that were easily cleaned up by a Roar defence led by club captain Matt Smith.
It took just over half an hour for the Roar pressure to be converted into the opening goal. A well-placed cross from Do on the left, which followed a series of passes with Jack Hingert and Paartalu, was headed home powerfully by the late-surging George Lambadarides.
More opportunities followed, with Roar trying to exploit the pace of Kofi Danning down the right flank but the floodgates refused to open and the Hyundai A-League club failed to add to their tally before the halftime break.
Despite a wholesale change of personnel, the second stanza was more of the same for Roar, only this time the lethal finishing of Berisha saw the weight of possession and field position count on the scoreboard.
It took last season’s A-League Golden Boot winner a touch over five minutes to open his account and double the Roar’s lead. After taking possession just outside the box, Berisha waltzed through the heart of Olympic’s defence, stepping and shuffling past three defenders, before placing a shot in the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Two minutes later, Berisha doubled his personal tally. After his pass was blocked, the Albanian international latched on to the rebound, skipping past two defenders as he dribbled from the left hand side to near the penalty spot, before once again slotting his shot in the bottom right hand corner.
Not long after, Olympic FC had their best and only real chance of the night. Substitute striker Callum Yap rose high to meet a curling free-kick delivered from the right, but his header looped just over the crossbar.
As the half wore on Roar continued to assert their dominance down both flanks; Corey Brown and Nick Fitzgerald combined particularly well down the left, while Ivan Franjic and Ben Halloran showed the first glimpses of a burgeoning partnership down the right.
It was an all-too-familiar exchange of quick passes that resulted in the Roar extending their lead to four goals after seventy minutes. Halloran and Henrique working well to play through Franjic, whose squared ball for Berisha was clumsily put into his own net by Olympic defender Mark Fisk.
However, Fisk went someway to redeeming himself barely a minute later. The defender’s determination to make amends for the earlier error seeing him athletically clear a Berisha header off the line to the delight of the outnumbered Olympic faithful who’d had little to cheer all evening.
Berisha wouldn’t be denied his hat-trick twice though. A sublime Henrique pass six minutes from full-time split the backline and unleashed the insatiable striker who delicately dinked the ball over the advancing keeper to close out the night’s result.
Speaking after the match, Roar manager Rado Vidosic stated his satisfaction with the win.

“We used (the match) as a conditioning session more than anything but it was great to be out in Brisbane promoting our brand of football and introducing our new players.”
“The crowd tonight was fantastic,” he added.
Brisbane Roar will head back to the training paddock for the next fortnight before continuing their pre-season fixtures against an Ipswich Select XI on August 12 in Ipswich.
Meanwhile, Olympic FC will continue their Brisbane Premier League season this weekend in a mid-table home clash against North Pine.
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