Brisbane beaten to points by Victory

A brave Brisbane Roar has fallen just short of collecting more points on the road, losing a tight struggle against Melbourne Victory 2-1 at Etihad Stadium.

A brave Brisbane Roar has fallen just short of collecting more points on the road, losing a tight struggle against Melbourne Victory 2-1 at Etihad Stadium.

A Roar squad which is still significantly depleted due to injury and international commitments “gave as good as they got” according to coach Frank Farina but couldn-t quite find a response to Adrian Leijer-s winning goal.

Roar suffered an early blow when a line-ball offside went against the away side and Ney Fabiano was allowed to head the ball past Liam Reddy from an Archie Thompson cross.

Brisbane looked to hit back immediately and pushed Melbourne deep into their defensive third.

On 11 minutes they were in drew level courtesy of Brazilian Reinaldo.

A blocked David Dodd shot fell to the feet of Charlie Miller who laid the ball into the path of the striker and despite a touch from Glen Moss in the Victory goal the ball hit the back of the net.

The match was open and free flowing, with both sides looking to push forward at every opportunity.

The Roar rode their luck on 20 minutes when Fabiano and Thompson combined well to set the latter free into the box.

Thompson was able to deceive young defender Ivan Franjic but his thunderous shot cannoned off the bar.

Melbourne-s cross-field balls were stretching the Roar defence, which was having to work hard to contain the three-pronged forward line of Fabiano, Thompson and former Roar player Robbie Kruse.

Henrique sought to send the small pocket of Roar fans into delirium midway through the half but his shot, after darting into the box, was deflected safely into the hands of Moss.

A minute later Danny Tiatto was on the attack from a Reinaldo ball across the edge of the box but he pulled his shot wide of the mark.

Thompson again had an opportunity to put the home side in front, this time on 35 minutes, from a Leigh Broxham through ball but his shot was comfortably saved by Liam Reddy.

With the last kick of the half Melbourne again had the Brisbane defence on the back foot with a passing movement on the edge of the box which ended with Fabiano digging a shot out from under his feet.

Despite creating the chance for himself, the Brazilian had to watch his shot rebound off the post and away from danger.

Roar were on the attack immediately from the restart and a well worked free-kick move on the edge of the box between Tiatto and Charlie Miller ended up at the feet of Reinaldo, but his shot was well blocked by Rodrigo Vargas.

The away side were on the attack again a short time later, but this time Miller-s shot struck team mate Henrique on the way to goal.

Brisbane talisman Henrique was forced off just before the hour mark with a knee injury following a heavy challenge from Leijer, handing Mario Karlovic his Hyundai A-League debut.

Melbourne began to push Brisbane deeper into their defensive area as they began to take control in the final half hour of the game.

It was defender Leijer - perhaps lucky to still be on the field following his challenge on Henrique and earlier caution - who finally gave the Victory the lead on 72 minutes when he bundled home a deep Hernandez cross.

Brisbane dug deep and began to come out of their shell, pushing forward - Reinaldo at the forefront - with purpose in an effort to once again draw level.

However the Roar found it difficult to break down a resilient Victory backline and in the end the home side claimed all three points.

Roar coach Frank Farina conceded the better side took the points on the day.

“I think we just invited Melbourne to come at us,” Farina said.

“We gave away too many balls and too many silly free kicks.

“Particularly in the second half we gave away too many free kicks around our box and eventually they punished us for it.”

Farina also confirmed more bad news for the club with midfield dynamo Henrique likely to spend six-to-eight weeks on the sidelines with a medial collateral ligament injury in his right knee.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Fabiano 2-, Leijer 72-)

Brisbane Roar 1 (Reinaldo 11-)

Melbourne Victory: 20. Glenn MOSS (gk). 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 5. Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM (8. Grant BREBNER 72-), 11. Ney FABIANO (Tomislav PONDELJAK 67-), 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 21. Robbie KRUSE (3. Mate DUGANDZIC 90-), 23. Adrian LEIJER.

Substitute (not used): 1. Mitchell LANGERAK (gk).

Yellow cards: Adrian LEIJER (38-)

Red cards: Nil

Goals: Ney FABIANO (4-), Adrian LEIJER (72-)

Brisbane Roar: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 4. Craig MOORE (c), 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. David DODD (19. Isaka CERNAK 78-), 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Charlie MILLER, 11. REINALDO, 13. HENRIQUE (29. Mario KARLOVIC 59-), 16. Bob MALCOLM (23. Tim SMITS 89-), 18. Danny TIATTO, 27. Ivan FRANJIC.

Substitute (not used): 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk).

Yellow cards: David DODD (8-), Danny TIATTO (35-), Liam REDDY (38-), Craig MOORE (87-)

Red cards: Nil

Goals: REINALDO (11-)

Referee: Strebre DELOVSKI

Crowd: 19,587

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