Brisbane Roar’s positive start to the Hyundai A-League season has been dented with Mike Mulvey’s men suffering a narrow 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium tonight.
With pre-match hype dominated by Victory boss Ange Postecoglou’s impending departure for the job as Socceroos coach, the opening game of round three lived up to its lofty expectations with some impressive football on display at both ends.
It was two former Roar players, Mitch Nichols and Kosta Barbarouses, who combined to create the Melbourne club’s first chance of the night but Brisbane keeper – and Victory old boy – Michael Theo did well to smother the third minute effort.
Jade North and captain Matt Smith were formidable in Brisbane’s central defensive partnership, denying the home side on a number of occasions in the first half, while Jack Hingert chimed in with a timely block on a James Troisi strike in the 17th minute.
Left-back Shane Stefanutto was involved in some positive play for the visitors as well and he provided Kwame Yeboah with the chance to break the deadlock three minutes from the break but the young striker struck the ball straight into the hands of Nathan Coe.
While Brisbane finished the first half stronger, the Victory opened the scoring not long after the interval through Troisi.
Archie Thompson played the pass through for his teammate, who squeezed the ball past the challenges of Smith and Theo into the bottom corner of the net.
Theo denied Victory a second goal on the hour mark, getting a hand to a Nichols strike destined for the top corner.
The Roar regained more control of the match in the final stages, Ivan Franjic shooting on target from distance and Thomas Broich blasting the ball over the bar late in the game, but the Melbourne club held on to secure their first win over Brisbane in Postecoglou’s 18 month reign.
Melbourne Victory 1 (James TROISI 57’)
Brisbane Roar 0
Friday, 25 October 2013
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Kick-off: 6.30pm Brisbane time (7:30pm AEDT)
Referee: Ben Williams
Melbourne Victory: 1.Nathan COE (gk), 3.Adama TRAORE, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 14.James TROISI (7.Gui FINKLER 65’), 15.Mitch NICHOLS (11.Connor PAIN 83’), 23.Adrian LEIJER, 25. Jason GERIA (24. Scott GALLOWAY 83’)
Substitutes not used: 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk)
Yellow cards: Mark MILLIGAN
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 11.Liam MILLER (10. HENRIQUE 67’), 13.Jade NORTH, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN (23. Dimitri PETRATOS 53’), 19.Jack HINGERT, 22.Thomas BROICH, 29.Kwame YEBOAH (26. Corey BROWN 82’)
Substitutes not used: 15. James DONACHIE, 20. Matthew ACTON (gk)
Yellow cards: Ivan FRANJIC 37’, Shane STEFANUTTO 58’, Michael THEO 71’, Jack HINGERT 73’
Red cards: Nil