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Thijssen’s Roar defeat misfiring Wanderers

Brisbane have proved too good for Western Sydney in tonight’s Grand Final replay, beating the Asian Champions 1-0 at Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Roar came storming out of the blocks and took the lead after just five minutes, thanks to a penalty from Henrique, and the away side didn’t look back.

The win was the reigning champions’ first victory at Pirtek Stadium, and sees the Roar climb into the top six for the first time this season.

Brisbane made just one change from last weekend’s side, with key playmaker Thomas Broich sidelined with an ankle injury for up to six weeks. The game would end a run of 68 consecutive A-League matches for the German.

Socceroo hopeful Tomi Juric was the biggest of four omissions for the Wanderers, who have now lost their last six matches when their star striker has been missing. Juric appeared to be ‘rested’ by the home side, with no official word from the club regarding an injury.

A healthy crowd of 10,252 turned out in Parramatta despite monsoonal conditions just two hours prior to kick-off and continual rainfall throughout the game.

Amazingly, just seven months ago these two sides were the benchmark in the competition, but recent results and current ladder positions shows how fickle and unpredictable football can be, particularly with last week’s sacking of Championship winning coach Mike Mulvey.

Match Details Full match details »

Western Sydney

Yellow Card34′ S.AdelekeYellow Card49′ S.ColeYellow Card86′ M.Poljak

Brisbane

Penalty5′ Henrique (Pen)
Yellow Card36′ M.SmithYellow Card52′ L.BrattanYellow Card58′ C.BrownYellow Card64′ B.Borrello

However, tonight’s performance is one that the Roar’s previous coach would have been proud of.

Despite personnel changes in the off-season and injuries, Brisbane produced a vintage performance in the first half. The away side dominated possession and were able to play out of defence with poise and confidence.

For the first time this season Brisbane were taking risks, as well as being patient in their build up play.

The Roar’s goal just five minutes into the match was just a glimpse of what was to come, as Brown played a beautiful cross into the penalty box before Kurtishi was brought down by Wanderers defender Seyi Adeleke. Henrique then coolly slotted the penalty to move within one goal of golden boot leader Nathan Burns.

One of the Roar’s few shinning lights this season, Henrique was at it again just a few minutes later, setting up Kurtishi who shot narrowly over the bar. Luke Brattan was also influential for the Roar, providing several clever balls from midfield.

The Wanderers appeared rattled by the Roar’s early goal and dominance, and lacked their trademark pressure early in the game.

The second half was essentially a game of two halves, as Brisbane continued to press before Western Sydney got themselves back into the game late with some equally impressive passages of play.

Nikita Rukavytsya came on early in the second half and proved to be a headache for the Roar defence, setting up some crucial opportunities for the Wanderers.

Henrique had a chance to seal the game midway through the second half for the visitors. Brattan crossed expertly to the waiting Brazilian whose header was parried over the goal by veteran keeper Ante Covic.

Brisbane were again inches away from a second in the 86th minute, when substitute Solorzano shot from long range. Unfortunately for the Costa Rican, his shot cannoned into the post and out for a goal kick.

The Wanderers best chance of the half came in injury time. Rukavytsya danced his way into the penalty box, before unleashing a gorgeous shot that flicked the crossbar and, disappointingly for the home fans, also went out for a goal kick.

Brisbane fans will no doubt be pleased with the improved performance of much-maligned goalkeeper Jamie Young, who made some solid saves and also launched some impressive attacking plays from his penalty area.

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic will be keen to rectify his team’s issues before their schedule once again heats up. The Wanderers next face Adelaide United on Saturday, before leaving for the Club World Cup in Morocco on Sunday.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Luke Brattan (Brisbane Roar)
2 Henrique (Brisbane Roar)
1 Romeo Castelen (Western Sydney)
Youth Corey Brown (Brisbane Roar)

About the author

avatarBen is a Journalism graduate, a Melbourne Victory fan and contributor to Ultimate A-League.

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