Sydney FC pile on the misery for depleted Brisbane Roar

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A brave showing from Brisbane Roar at a water-logged Netstrata Jubilee Stadium will go down as a mere footnote in the club’s season of continued bad luck.

If you had told Brisbane Roar players directly after their fourth round match against Western United that it would be their last game for over a month, they simply would have turned and looked the other way.

But that is exactly the reality that the Queensland side has been faced with amid the unforeseen spread of Omicron over the past few weeks.

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After an outbreak in the Perth Glory camp forced the postponement of the teams’ mid-December clash, the Roar’s following four fixtures dropped off one by one as the rest of the league followed closely behind.

Now in the second week of January and faced with a backlog of unplayed fixtures, the Roar’s long-awaited return to the field would be without up to six of their first-team players, and to make matters worse, for their first ever appearance in an FFA Cup quarter-final.

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With the odds stacked against them, Brisbane came up against a Sydney FC line-up unchanged from their previous fixture in treacherous weather conditions on Wednesday night.

But despite this, Roar coach Warren Moon remained optimistic ahead of the match that his undermanned squad could rise to the occasion.

“The boys can probably let the shackles off and play with a bit of freedom,” he said.

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Moon would watch his pre-match anticipations play out in a free-flowing, end-to-end first half which saw little in the way of big opportunities on goal.

However, by storing up superstars Elvis Kamsoba, Bobo and Milos Ninkovic on the bench, Sky Blues manager Steve Corica watched on as the former bagged his fourth goal of the season, with the home side managing to hold on for victory after defender James Donachie saw red in the final ten minutes.

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Rather than attributing the underwhelming spectacle to the weather, Corica was quick to highlight the other obvious factor in both sides’ tired performances.

“A lot of these players are just getting out of quarantine. They’ve had COVID and three days later they’re playing a game,” he said after the match.

“So that’s probably the reason why it wasn’t the best of games.”

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As for the Roar, it was not all doom and gloom on the night as highlights included defender Louis Zabala’s impressive starting debut, which was cut short as he hobbled off with an injury at the beginning of the second half.

But the Queensland side’s exit from the tournament would only worsen their early-season misery, finding themselves sitting at the bottom of the A-League Men’s ladder without a win and without a goal since round one.

The depleted Roar will now play the same opposition at the same venue on Saturday night, as they continue searching for their elusive first win of the season.

Feature Image Credit: Phil Radoslovich

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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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