Brisbane beaten in Melbourne

A barnstorming second half by Melbourne Victory has handed Brisbane Roar its first loss of the season at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

A barnstorming second half by Melbourne Victory has handed Brisbane Roar its first loss of the season at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Despite being a dominant presence in the first half, some clinical finishing and uncharacteristic defending gave Melbourne the edge and the points.

Brisbane suffered a major injury blow inside the opening five minutes when Henrique suffered a serious elbow injury following a collision with Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat.

Ange Postecoglou was forced to swap the Brazilian for New Zealand international Kosta Barbarouses as Brisbane-s No.10 was stretchered from the ground.

Melbourne looked the more aggressive side early in the contest, testing out the Brisbane backline which held steady early on.

The pace of Mate Dugandzic was causing problems down Brisbane-s left while Carlos Hernandez looked to float in behind the strikers.

Gradually Brisbane gained a foothold in the match and looked to do some attacking of their own.

Massimo Murdocca then sent a scare through the Brisbane camp when he went down injured after being knocked to the ground in an off-the-ball incident as the Victory looked to impose themselves physically on the Brisbane side.

Michael Theoklitos thwarted his former team with a fingertip save from a Carlos Hernandez free-kick on 19 minutes from the first clear cut opportunity of the match.

Brisbane then put their foot on the ball to take control of the tempo of the match, retaining possession and probing the Melbourne defences for a weakness.

Brisbane nearly opened up the Victory on 27 minutes when Matt McKay linked up with Shane Stefanutto, but the left-back-s cross was just cleared away as Reinaldo closed in on the ball.

The match continued to be hotly contested in the middle of the park as both sides for for supremacy of the midfield area.

Thomas Broich opened up Melbourne on 39 minutes with a delightful ball into the danger area that Kosta Barbarouses looked to get on the end of it, but despite Michael Petkovic spilling his catch, the Victory managed to clean up at the back.

Heading into the break Brisbane began to exert a little more control on the match, stretching the Victory by spreading the ball wide to both flanks.

Melbourne had the final opportunity against the run of play at the end of the half when Geoff Kelloway looked to get on the end of a Dugandzic cross, but his effort went wide of the goal.

As expected the home side came out in the opening minutes of the second half full of vigor and looking to give the fans something to cheer at.

The physical approach adopted by Victory certainly continued into the second 45 as they conceded a series of free-kicks.

A defensive lapse then let Melbourne score the first goal against the Roar for the season as Tom Pondeljak beat three defenders on the edge of the box to slot home after coming on as a half-time substitute.

Some more indecisive defending left Brisbane floundering five minutes later when Luke DeVere and Theoklitos failed to communicate as the ball rolled towards goal, allowing Ricardinho to poke home from just inside the six yard box.

Postecoglou then made a double substitution, bringing on Jean Carlos Solorzano for Barbarouses and Mitch Nichols for Murdocca.

Brisbane were trying valiantly to get themselves back into the match and Reinaldo threatened with a header from a McKay corner, but his effort went over the bar.

The match was over in the 71st minute when Grant Brebner smashed the ball home from the edge of the box after Brisbane was unable to clear the ball from the defensive third despite several attempts.

Melbourne were swarming forward at this point as all the frustration in the stands from the first half evaporated.

Brisbane couldn-t find a way back into the match, despite Melbourne playing out the final minutes with 10 men when Kevin Muscat left the field through injury.

While disappointed, Postecoglou said his side still demonstrated the type of football he was keen to see them play for the remainder of the season.

“We made some mistakes, but we were trying to play football and I-m not going to discourage that,” Postecoglou said.

“At the end of the day we-ll take some lessons from this game, but we-ll continue to look to play the ball.”

Melbourne Victory 3 (Tom PONDELJAK 51-, RICARDINHO 56-, Grant BREBNER 71-) Brisbane Roar 0 Sunday, 12 September 2010 AAMI Park, Melbourne Referee: Ryan Shepheard Crowd: 13,792

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC (14. Billy CELESKI 46-), 5. Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.RICARDINHO (11. Marvin ANGULO 72-), 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 27. Geoff KELLAWAY (15. Tommy PONDELJAK 46-) Substitutes not used: 20. Sebastian MATTEI (gk). Yellow cards: Leigh BROXHAM (74-), Grant BREBNER (90-+1) Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (17. Mitch NICHOLS 59-), 10. HENRIQUE (7. Kosta BARBAROUSES 5- (9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 59-)), 11. REINALDO, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk). Yellow cards: Mitch NICHOLS (77-) Red cards: Nil