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Maclaren double delivers Roar win

Brisbane Roar got their 2015/16 campaign off to the right start on Thursday night, defeating the Wanderers 3-1 in front of over 14,000 fans in Parramatta for the A-League season opener.

Tony Popovic’s side had undergone an almost complete transformation from last season, meaning the Wanderers came into the game with many questions marks hanging over them.

The additions of Scott Jamieson, Scott Neville, Mitch Nichols and marquees Federico Piovaccari and Dario Vidosic, however, hinted at a quality squad at Popovic’s disposal.

For new Brisbane coach John Aloisi, injuries across the park meant that youngsters like Jamie Maclaren, Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown and Brandon Borrello would all start in this crucial round 1 match.

Match Details Full match details »

Western Sydney

Goal13′ M.NicholsYellow Card46′ S.Neville


Goal9′ J.MaclarenGoal23′ D.BowlesGoal34′ J.MaclarenYellow Card72′ M.TheoYellow Card76′ J.North

Western Sydney had the better of the opening stages, with new boys Jamieson and Nichols combining well down the left wing. Youngster Jaushua Sotirio looked dangerous early, cutting inside and firing narrowly over the bar in the first few minutes of the game.

However, a defensive mistake would cost the Wanderers dearly in the 9th minute. A soft back pass from Brendan Hamill played in Maclaren who expertly lobbed the advancing Andrew Redmayne to give the Roar the early lead.

Western Sydney would answer back 4 minutes later through the dangerous Mitch Nichols. After breaking the high and square Roar defensive line, Nichols cut in from the left wing before curling a pass toward the back post. Piovaccari, in position to score, simply watched as the pass drifted in at the back post unassisted to make it 1-1.

That wouldn’t last though, and Brisbane were back in front in the 23rd minute. A whipped corner from Corona found the head of Bowles, whose flick on forced a goal line clearance from Jamieson. Referee Jarred Gillett – and his assistant – were having none of it, though, signalling a goal for the visitors as the ball had clearly crossed the line.

Western Sydney were still able to create chances at the other end, but were far less efficient in front of goal than their opponents. Sotirio missed another quality chance, before Nikolai Topor-Stanley blazed over from close range after the half hour mark.

Maclaren made them pay for their profligacy in the 34th minute, bundling the ball over the line after some desperate work by Bowles to fashion a half chance for his teammate in the penalty area.

Half time came and went, but the Wanderers didn’t look likely to find a way back into the game.

The second half, in reality, was a let down compared to the opening 45 minutes, with chances few and far between.

Maclaren had a chance to finish off his hattrick in the second half, but his snap shot flew over the bar after some quality lead up work involving the ever-impressive Thomas Broich.

Maclaren’s night then came to an end in the 78th minute, with young dynamo Devante Clut on in his place.

In the end, the game petered out into a comfortable win for the Roar, leaving Popovic and the Wanderers with plenty to mull over before their trip to Adelaide next week.

For Aloisi, a first up win – and on the road, no less – will do plenty to quell fears of a lacklustre campaign under the ex-Melbourne City coach. Brisbane host the Mariners at home in round 2.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar)
2 Daniel Bowles (Brisbane Roar)
1 Mitch Nichols (Western Sydney)

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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