Roar’s woes in front of goal at both ends continue to haunt them

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Brisbane Roar may feel deserving of more points this season, but their woes in front of goal at both ends was on full display once more this season at Leichhardt Oval.

Roar’s has failed to live up to the heights of their second-placed finish from last season, as they continue to struggle to keep side’s scoreless or score themselves in what has become a defining factor in their disappointing start to the calendar year.

After getting off to a flying start in 2022 with a remarkable 4-2 win against Melbourne Victory, the Roar failed to convert any of their 22 attempts on goal against Western Sydney Wanderers the following week, eventually succumbing to a 1-0 defeat at home.

Despite staging a mature fightback against league newcomers Wellington Phoenix in round seven, the Queenslanders still only managed to convert three of their 24 chances in Wollongong that afternoon.

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Still reeling from the heartache of Saturday’s last-gasp defeat to Melbourne City, the Roar were dealt a huge blow ahead of their mid-week clash with league leader’s Sydney FC after the club announced the end-of-season departure of Katrina Gorry on Tuesday afternoon.

Ahead of their match against the Sky Blues, the Sweden-bound midfielder was quick to point out an increasingly obvious trend in her club’s season which would ultimately continue on Wednesday night.

“We’ve had disappointing losses but we’ve stayed together and know that we deserve more,” she said.

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The side went behind after just five minutes but proved that they were more than up to the task at Leichhardt, nearly equalling Sydney’s nine attempts on goal with a respectable seven shots taken before half-time.

As chances dried up for the Roar in the second half, amounting to only two shots on goal, they were left to rue the missed opportunities in the opening 45 minutes which included Shea Connors’ inspired run of three shots in the space of five minutes.

“We’ve just been trying, trying, trying and we’re just not scoring,” said Brazilian winger Mariel Hecher.

“I feel like it’s the story of our life right now.”

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The eventual 2-0 defeat also pointed to another recurring theme in the club’s underperforming season, as defensive lapses within the opening five minutes of both halves recalled their late fade in the match from four days earlier when they conceded two goals in the final 10 minutes.

Brisbane also went down to 10 players with over half an hour left to play as Maria Rojas’ threatening run forward resulted in an unsuccessful last-man challenge from Annabel Haffenden.

“There was a lack of attention in the first five minutes and it was our own fault,” said Hecher.

“I think we showed resilience in trying to defend and not conceding when we were a man down, but we could have been better.”

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The Roar have now conceded 18 goals from nine league matches and find themselves currently languishing in seventh position on the A-League Women’s ladder.

Whilst the Queenslanders grappled with the reality of yet another defeat, their opposition revelled in the two history-making efforts achieved on the night, including breaking the league record for most minutes played without conceding a goal.

Alongside Sky Blues goalkeeper Jada Whyman who broke the record for most consecutive clean sheets kept in the league’s history, after successfully keeping out Brisbane’s run of shots in the first half.

Feature Image Credit: Kyoko Kurihara

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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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