A classy performance from Brazilian import Henrique was the highlight as Brisbane Roar beat an Ipswich Invitational side 5-1 in their second pre-season fixture at North Ipswich Reserve.
Henrique set up the Roar’s first, had a second-half effort ruled out for offside and scored his team’s last goal, relishing in the freedom of the number 10 position given to him by Head Coach Rado Vidosic.
In the 14th minute, Brisbane took the lead when National Youth League player Corey Brown picked out the run of Henrique, who in turn cut the ball back for striker Anthony Proia to tap the ball into the net.
While the Roar dominated proceedings, the unfamiliar pitch made for some awkward moments for the defending Hyundai A-League Champions and Ipswich took advantage nine minutes later through Matty Taylor.
The goal was the first scored by an Ipswich Invitational player in the three years the Roar have taken their pre-season campaign to the North Ipswich Reserve.
The home side were boosted by their early efforts and continued to push forward as the second half began but Brisbane soon kicked into gear and were rewarded for their perseverance.
Besart Berisha netted a hat-trick in the club’s first pre-season match against Brisbane Olympic two weeks ago and could’ve had another if not for a last minute goal-line clearance from an Ipswich defender after bagging a brace just after the hour-mark.
Youngster George Lambadaridis found the back of the net just five minutes after coming on as a substitute while Henrique capped off his man-of-the-match performance with a goal 10 minutes from full time.
Ipswich had a chance to reduce the deficit in the 77th minute when referee Matthew Gillett pointed to the spot but Ben Hunt struck the post.
Almost 2,500 supporters turned out at North Ipswich Reserve and Brisbane Roar General Manager Sean Dobson said no one went home disappointed.
“From both a football and community engagement perspective, today was excellent,” Dobson said.
“The fans were treated to a top-notch display of football while having the opportunity to meet the players, pose for photos and collect autographs before the game.
“Member clubs of our ONE GOAL community program from the Ipswich area participated in a parade at half-time and we can already feel the relationship between Brisbane Roar and the Ipswich football community strengthening.”