Brisbane Roar has sent out a warning to rival Hyundai A-League clubs by hitting seven goals past title contenders Adelaide United in a 7-1 romp at Suncorp Stadium.
Considered favourites by many leading into the season, Adelaide found themselves a goal ahead after just five minutes but four goals to Besart Berisha, a pair of penalties from Henrique and Issey Nakajima-Farran’s 80th minute goal sealed the impressive win for the Brisbane club.
One change for the home side saw Nakajima-Farran replaced by Massimo Murdocca, the midfield workhorse rewarded for his cameo performance against the Gold Coast United last weekend which saw him set up Brisbane’s second goal.
United Head Coach Rini Coolen fielded four former Roar players in his side with Sergio van Dijk, Dario Vidosic, Spase Dilevski and Milan Susak all pulling on the Adelaide jersey in front of their former fans.
It only took Brisbane four minutes to engineer their first opportunity of the match – a deft touch from Thomas Broich opened the door for Henrique to break the deadlock but with the goal in clear sight, the Brazilian winger was unlucky and scuffed his shot at the vital moment.
The miss proved costly soon after as Vidosic, son of Roar assistant coach Rado, latched on to the ball and cut inside defender Matt Jurman to slide the ball under the diving Michael Theoklitos in the Brisbane goal.
Finding themselves a goal down for the first time this season, Ange Postecoglou’s men responded in emphatic fashion.
On the 20 minute mark, a stray tackle on Mitch Nichols from Adelaide skipper Jon McKain saw Strebre Delovski award the home side a penalty and Henrique made amends for his earlier miss by sending Eugene Galekovic the wrong way to level the scores.
The coolly converted penalty sent Brisbane on their way and striker Berisha then made Hyundai A-League history by netting the quickest hat-trick in the competition’s short history with three goals in just six minutes of first half play.
Off the back of a long series of passes that which finally saw Broich feed the ball wide to Stefanutto on the left wing, the veteran defender sent a teasing cross into the area for Berisha to connect for his first of the night.
Two minutes later, a perfectly-weighted through ball from Nichols set up the Albanian striker hit his second before Murdocca found Broich, whose first touch sailed nicely into the path of Berisha to score only the second ever hat-trick by a Roar player.
A second penalty to Henrique, following a sloppy tackle from Adelaide left-back Cassio, rounded out the incredible 5-1 score line and United headed into the half-time break knowing only a miracle would see them take three points home to Adelaide.
Head Coach Ange Postecoglou opted to rest Jurman for the rest of the fixture, introducing Mohamed Adnan, and the Bahraini defender slotted in seamlessly into the Brisbane backline.
While not exploiting the Adelaide defence in quite the same way as the opening half, the Roar continued to dominate possession and Berisha unbelievably had his fourth goal of the night after 69 minutes.
Substitute Nakajima-Farran this time provided the assist as Berisha squeezed through the challenges of defensive partnership McKain and Daniel Mullen, in similar fashion to his strike against Gold Coast United last weekend, to score Brisbane’s sixth of the night.
That move turned out to be Berisha’s final contribution to the game, soon replaced by Kofi Danning, but not before receiving a well-earned standing ovation from the faithful, orange-clad crowd at Suncorp Stadium.
Nakajima-Farran was lively at the top end of Brisbane’s attack and soon made his efforts count by ensuring his name would be written alongside Henrique and Bersiha’s on tonight’s scoresheet.
After a pacy run down the right wing from Danning, Nichols collected the ball inside the area and teed up Nakajima-Farran for the simplest of tap-ins - the Canadian’s first goal for the club.
Coach Postecoglou was deservedly proud of his players post-match but said his side’s outstanding, attacking football deserved a bigger crowd at Suncorp Stadium.
“This team deserves more people to come and see them, I still can’t believe people don’t want to come have a look,” he said.
“I keep mentioning about those thousands that left before the grand final finished missed out on one of the greatest finishes, well I reckon there’ll be 10 or 20 thousand of our supporters that will be regretting the fact they weren’t there on the night we won 7-1.
“This team will get better and there are exciting times ahead, we play good football and we’re entertaining and people won’t be disappointed.
“Having said that, the hardcore that are here are fantastic – they really make it a fantastic atmosphere and I’m full of admiration for the ones that turn up.”
Brisbane Roar 7 (HENRIQUE 21’, 36’, Besart BERISHA 23’, 26’, 29’, 69’, Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN 80’)
Adelaide United 1 (Dario VIDOSIC 5’)
Friday, 28 October 2011
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 4. Matt JURMAN (16. Mohamed ADNAN 45’), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA(9. Kofi DANNING 69’), 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 10. HENRIQUE (11. Issey NAKAJIMA-FARRAN 57’), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 22. Thomas BROICH
Substitutes not used: 30. Matthew ACTON (gk)
Yellow cards: Kofi DANNING 72’
Red cards: Nil
Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 4. Jon McKAIN (c), 5. Daniel MULLEN, 6. CASSIO, 7. Zenon CARAVELLA, 8. Evgeniy LEVCHENKO (21. Francisco USUCAR 45'), 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Dario VIDOSIC, 16. Spase DILEVSKI, 22. Milan SUSAK (2. Osama MALIK 68’), 23. Andy SLORY (17. Iain RAMSAY 42’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk)
Yellow cards: Jon McKAIN 20’, CASSIO 36’, Milan SUSAK 47’
Red cards: Nil