Brave Brisbane beaten

A whole-hearted display by a gallant Brisbane Roar outfit has fallen agonisingly short of taking a share of the spoils at the Sydney Football Stadium, losing 2-1 to table-topping Sydney FC.

A whole-hearted display by a gallant Brisbane Roar outfit has fallen agonisingly short of taking a share of the spoils at the Sydney Football Stadium, losing 2-1 to table-topping Sydney FC.

Brisbane-s players left nothing on the pitch in another hard-fought encounter between the two sides, but could not quite find the goal to give them a much deserved point on the road.

The match started in a cagey fashion, which was probably to be expected given Brisbane fielded another new look side due to injury and suspension.

The Roar certainly had some good early opportunities, but the passing in the final third let the away side down just as they looked to have created a clear opening.

Sergio van Dijk and Reinaldo both had shots from distance in the opening 15 minutes, but both pull their efforts wide of the goal.

Mitch Nichols was next to threaten when he had a goal-bound effort blocked in the box after working himself half a gap to fire off a shot.

The young midfielder then forced a smart save from Sydney goalkeeper Clint Bolton when he got himself in front of his defender to meet a quality Tommy Oar cross and arrowed his effort towards the bottom corner.

The action then moved directly to the other end of the park where Griffin McMaster took his his first part in the match with a good low save from a Karol Kisel thunderbolt from distance.

The young Roar side were certainly on top with Oar flashing a shot centimetres wide of Bolton-s upright just past the halfway mark of the opening stanza.

McMaster then came to the rescue of the away side as Sydney broke with pace a minute later.

Mark Bridge found the ball at his feet in the box, as Luke DeVere failed to clear the danger, but McMaster had the powerful effort well covered.

Sydney immediately when close again, this time McMaster was beaten as Alex Brosque headed just wide of the goal.

The home side were turning the screws on Brisbane as they took control of the match.

Gradually Brisbane worked their way back into the contest and the match flowed from end-to-end, but while there were opportunities for both sides neither goalkeeper was called into action.

Despite a highly entertaining first half, the sides went to the break locked at 0-0.

Brisbane opened the second stanza in sluggish fashion as Sydney pushed forward looking for the opener but the Roar backline stood firm in the face of some impressive pressure.

The Roar-s injury woes continued with Reinaldo forced from the field with a hamstring injury after 53 minutes.

The home side took the lead two minutes later when Sydney-s persistence around the box was rewarded with right-foot strike from Brosque which curled into the bottom corner of the net.

Brisbane continued to battle manfully in the face of the one-goal deficit, but as in the first half lacked the killer pass in the attacking third of the park.

In a positive for Roar coach Ange Postecoglou, defender Andrew Packer made his long-awaited return to the first team following his adductor injury suffered in the opening round against Gold Coast United.

However, the Roar were further behind on 69 minutes when Kisel smashed the ball home following a cross-field pass from Brosque.

But showing the fighting spirit demanded by their coach during the week, Isaka Cernak scored his first goal in the Hyundai A-League to claw Brisbane back into the contest three minutes later.

Oar, as he had done all match, delivered a quality ball into the box and Cernak beat Sung-Hwan Byun to the cross to guide the ball past Bolton.

Brisbane rode their luck in the closing stages with John Aloisi - on as a substitute - missing a golden opportunity to head his side further in front.

The luck Brisbane had at one end didn-t transfer to the other when DeVere went agonisingly close to heading the Roar level from an Oar corner.

Postecoglou-s men continued to ask serious questions of the Sydney defence in the final stages of the match, launching waves of attacks.

With the final kick of the game, Ivan Franjic had the chance to grab a late point for Brisbane, but his tired effort was cleared off the line to leave the Roar frustrated.

Post-match Postecoglou lauded the intensity, desire, discipline and effort of his players.

“When players give you the effort they gave tonight, it gives you a buzz,” Postecoglou said.

“I was super proud. The boys have now set themselves a standard they have to match every week.”

Sydney FC (Alex BROSQUE 55-, Karol KISEL 69-)

Brisbane Roar (Isaka CERNAK 72-)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney

Referee: Matthew BREEZE

Sydney FC line-up: 1. Clint BOLTON, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL (17. Matthew JURMAN 90+1-), 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (capt)( 9. John ALOISI 61-), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry McFLYNN, 19. Mark BRIDGE (23. Rhyan GRANT81-), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN.

Substitutes not used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk),

Yellow Cards: Sung-Hwan BYUN (90+5-)

Red Cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar line-up: 20. Griffin McMASTER, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN (capt), 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 11. REINALDO (19. Isaka CERNAK 53-), 12. Matt MUNDY (2. Andrew PACKER 66-), 15. Matt McKAY, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 21. Tommy OAR, 27. Ivan FRANJIC, 29. Mario KARLOVIC

Substitutes not used: 6. David DODD, 40. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk)

Yellow Cards: Andrew PACKER (77-)

Red Cards: Nil

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