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All square in Roar, City clash

A second-half goal for each side saw Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City share the points in front of 10,812 fans at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Harry Novillo opened the scoring in the 47th minute for City, before a 70th minute combination between Henrique and Thomas Broich saw the former tie the game up at 1-1.

After a 1-0 win over Perth last Sunday, John Aloisi elected to make just two changes to his starting XI, with Matt McKay and Jamie Maclaren returning from representative duty. Steve Lustica and Nick D’Agostino were the unlucky two, with the latter excluded from the squad altogether.

For John van’t Schip, a win was almost a necessity coming into this game, after a shock 3-0 loss to Western Sydney at home last week. Jack Clisby, Matt Millar, Corey Gameiro and Aaron Mooy were all included, with a makeshift back four (with just 119 A-League games between them) put in place.

Brisbane started strongly, creating the first chance of the game in just the 2nd minute. McKay mis-controlled his first touch on the edge of the penalty area but recovered to send a shot at full stretch directly at Sorensen. The Danish keeper palmed the ball away, with Petratos unable to capitalise after capturing the rebound.

City’s first chance came a few minutes later, with returning Socceroo Aaron Mooy going close from a free kick. Roar keeper Jamie Young could only watch as Mooy’s curling effort drifted just wide of the left upright.

Mooy’s influence was being felt all over the park, and he almost delivered the opening goal on 20 minutes. A corner on the right was whipped in by the star midfielder, with Erik Paartalu’s thumping header requiring a desperate save from Young to deny him.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Fri Nov 20, 2015, 8:00 PMStadium Suncorp StadiumAttendance 10,812Referee Chris Beath

Brisbane

Yellow Card44′ S.StefanuttoGoal70′ Henrique

Melb. City

Yellow Card18′ M.MillarYellow Card39′ C.ChapmanGoal47′ H.NovilloYellow Card51′ P.RetreYellow Card63′ C.GameiroYellow Card82′ I.Franjic

Young was in the thick of the action two minutes later, but for all the wrong reasons. After gathering a tame, long-range effort, Young looked for a quick release but as he went to throw the ball long up field, he lost his footing and the ball slipped loose. Fornaroli tried to round Young before laying off for Mooy, who somehow put his shot wide with the ‘keeper still out of his goal.

Brisbane, meanwhile, were finding their best opportunities on the counter-attack.

On the half-hour mark, Maclaren broke loose down the left, before he cut inside and was dispossessed. Dimitri Petratos picked up the scraps, beating a defender before firing high over Sorensen’s goal.

The Roar were pressing hard for the opening goal, and less than a minute later, Maclaren should’ve opened the scoring. Thomas Broich whipped in a cross from the left wing, but Maclaren’s free header was aimed almost directly at Sorensen, who made a simple save.

The last chance of the half was another breakaway for the Roar, but somehow Maclaren and Borrello — despite only having Clisby and the goalkeeper to beat — butchered the chance, with Borrello’s pass to play in Maclaren underhit and allowing City to clear.

City regrouped at the break and came out strongly. In the 47th minute, a superb ball over the top by Paulo Retre played in Fornaroli but, rather than pass sideways to Mooy, he chose to shoot directly at goal. He chose…poorly, as the ball flashed wide of the near post.

The Uruguayan made amends, though, on the next play.

From the goal kick, Young went in search of Bowles, but the defender didn’t expect the pass and Fornaroli nicked in to steal possession before laying off for Mooy. The midfielder shot low and hard to Young’s right, and while the goalkeeper was able to palm the ball away, Harry Novillo was the first to react and bundled the ball home at the back post to make it 1-0.

With the lead, and looking to shore up his defence, van’t Schip brought on Ivan Franjic for his first game for Melbourne City, after recovering from an injury that had seen him miss the opening 6 weeks of the season.

A substitute would have an impact on the game in the 70th minute, but it wouldn’t be Franjic.

Henrique, a 65th minute replacement for Maclaren, nicked the ball in midfield, with the ball falling to Broich in the centre of the park. The German controlled the ball well, turned and lobbed the ball over the City defence for the advancing Henrique. The “Slippery Fish” brought the ball down superbly, took a touch and slid the ball past Sorensen to level the ledger.

Both managers emptied the substitutes bench by the 78th minute, but despite the injection of fresh legs, chances dried up toward the end of the second half.

The final ten minutes saw Brisbane predominantly on the front foot, with City almost happy to sit back and absorb the pressure applied by the likes of McKay, Corona and Broich.

Eventually, referee Chris Beath would bring the game to an end after three minutes of injury time.

As a result of the draw, the Roar leapfrogged Victory into top spot on the table, with Victory having a game in hand. For City, the draw wouldn’t be enough to see them move out of 7th place, with the Melbourne side still two points behind Wellington Phoenix in 6th.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)
2 Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)
1 Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City)

About the author

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

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