Roar rue mistakes in home final failure

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A young Roar side were unable to emulate the last-minute finals heroics their predecessors have previously displayed, falling to Adelaide United 2-1.

A sunny Sunday afternoon and packed Moreton Daily Stadium saw the stage perfectly set for the Roar’s elimination final, but the fairy-tale quickly turned into a nightmare.

Losing their first home final in ten matches, Brisbane were stunned.

Two Tomi Juric goals exposed weakness in a bolstered Brisbane backline, but questions immediately arose regarding captain Tom Aldred’s fitness.

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Having only started three of the last 12 matches due to hamstring concerns, Aldred was turned inside out and caught well off guard by a flying Juric for his second in the opening exchanges.

Both Aldred and Roar head coach Warren Moon were confident in his health prior to kick off, but the coach admitted the defensive mishap may have been due to his skipper getting caught flat footed.

“Not to be disrespectful to Tom, Tom is a brilliant player; I wouldn’t say he is the quickest anyway,” Moon said.

“Whether he was fit or not there, I am not sure in that moment whether that was based on fitness. Could he have done better? Maybe.

“I’m not here to hang out any individual. Was he ready? Well, he put his hand up to play and said he was, and we believed he was.”

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The belief in the Roar’s chance to face Sydney FC were restored with a gallant second half effort, led by the head and heart of Alex Parsons.

Substituted on at the break, Parsons proved he was not just a project with his header pinning one goal back against Adelaide.

The 21-year-old has exemplified his obvious talent in recent performances, leaving Roar fans confused for missing out on a starting berth.

Moon was prepared to unleash Parsons, but it did not happen according to plan.

“It was a difficult one why we left him on the bench, but we were hoping to bring him on with a game to be won, rather than salvaged and saved,” he said.

“He came on and impacted and influenced the game and got us back into it and there are better days ahead for Alex at this club.”

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Moon will not dwell on his decision to keep Parsons sidelined to begin with, and was more disappointed the Roar could not make the most of their second half chances.

“We can all sit here after the event and say what we could have done and what we shouldn’t have done,” he said.

“If I look back at the second half, regardless of who started and what happened before that, we had enough chances to get back and certainly try and win the game.”

Star striker Dylan Wenzell-Halls again failed to fire, benched with ten minutes left and the game on the line.

“It was a difficult one with Dylan. Look, he hasn’t scored in 11, 12 games … but he is always in the game, he is always on the cusp of something about to happen,” Moon said.

“I think at some point, when you’re a coach and you have a fresh striker in GolGol on the bench and there is ten minutes left to go and you have given a player 80 or so minutes to show he can score a goal, I think at that point you need to make a decision about whether you either stick or twist.”

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Wenzell-Hall’s recent woes in front of goal have been a sentiment echoed across the squad and Moon is dedicated to fixing the issue.

“It is probably an area we need to look at in the off season and strengthen,” he said.

“We create chances, but over the course of the season we haven’t been able to take those chances and it probably cost us tonight.”

Feature image credit: Supplied

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Matthew Tsimpikas
Sports lover studying journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. Covering Brisbane Roar FC in the 2020/21 A-League and W-League.
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