Brisbane Roar’s defensive reinforcements help steal points from Sydney FC

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Brisbane Roar saw out a fast-finishing Sydney FC on Saturday night thanks to a valiant defensive effort and an effective triple substitution of returning players.

Brisbane Roar left the disappointment of their midweek FFA Cup quarter-final defeat firmly behind them as they ended Sydney’s run of three consecutive wins across all competitions this season with a 1-1 draw.

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The Queenslanders looked a more energised side compared to the one they fielded on Wednesday night thanks to the return of four first-team players; two of whom made up a surprising triple substitution which occurred just six minutes into the second half.

Comprised of returning players Rahmat Akbari and Corey Brown, as well as veteran defender Jack Hingert, Warren Moon’s substitutions undoubtedly contributed to the solid defensive effort which ensured that the Sky Blues would be unable to find a winner in the second half, despite a flurry of late chances.

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Moon was quick to praise his side’s defensive set-up after the match, as the Roar head coach remained adamant that his team were on the mend from the efforts which saw them concede six goals from their first four league games.

“We pride ourselves on having a good defensive structure,” Moon said after the match.

“Last year, I think we were up there with Sydney as the best defensive team in the league.

“It hasn’t started well, but we’ve had to adjust based on injuries and availabilities in the first couple of rounds, and there were probably more individual errors then than anything so they’re easy to fix.”

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Moon also expressed his gratitude for the return of the players previously unavailable from COVID-19; a prominent issue currently experienced across the competition.

“Everyone impressed me because they put their hand up to play, first and foremost,” he said.

“They all want to play obviously, but some were really under done.

“But I thought Corey, when he came on, really added something to us and Rahmat as well.

“Jack’s come from a long way back so he’s not at the best form that he can be, but one thing I’ll say about Jack is that he was the first to put his hand up to help the team on Wednesday and tonight, so they’ll only get better in the coming weeks.”

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Following their mid-week victory in the FFA Cup, Sky Blues manager Steve Corica predicted ahead of the league match that the Roar would continue on with a compact defensive structure, described by the head coach as being “difficult to break down.”

But despite conceding that the Queenslanders did perform well at the back on Saturday night, he was ultimately left to rue the countless missed opportunities from his side’s second-half showing.

“There were probably three one-on-ones that we had late in the second half, so there’s probably another one or two chances which we probably should have done a little bit better with as well,” he said.

“They defended well. They got the goal which, you know, killed us a little bit but I think we created enough chances to win that game.”

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The Sky Blues will conversely hope to make the most of their chances in their FFA Cup semi-final berth against Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday, whilst the Roar will have to wait until their return home against Adelaide United next Saturday for their first win of the season, and to get themselves off the bottom of the table.

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Jimmy Alexander
Covering Sydney FC for the 2021/22 A-League season. Studying a Bachelor of Sports Media (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University.

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