Brisbane takes it to Everton
Brisbane Roar has proven it can mix it with the best in a strong performance against Everton FC despite losing 2-1 to the English Premier League heavyweights at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane Roar has proven it can mix it with the best in a strong performance against Everton FC despite a 2-1 loss to the English Premier League heavyweights at Suncorp Stadium.
The Roar more than held their own against their more fancied opponents, only to be undone by a late goal to Everton recruit Magaye Gueye.
Earlier, Jack Rodwell lit up the game with a beautiful goal, before Kosta Barbarouses sent the home crowd into raptures with a deserved equaliser.
Brisbane began the game brightly, refusing to be intimidated and sticking to coach Ange Postecoglou-s free flowing game-plan.
In the ninth minute the Roar finally chanced their hand, German import Thomas Broich firing straight at Everton goalkeeper Ian Turner.
Luke Brattan tried his luck from a free-kick shortly after, but once again, Turner had all the angles covered.
Easily handling the sporadic Everton attacks, Brisbane were enjoying large spells of possession in their opponent-s half.
But their territorial domination was nearly undone on 22 minutes when Louis Saha latched onto a cross from wide-man Seamus Coleman.
But Roar custodian Michael Theoklitos was up to the task and easily gobbled up the Frenchman-s flick-on.
Everton off-season recruit Jermaine Beckford then went even closer, but despite beating Theoklitos, the striker-s shot lacked the necessary power or accuracy.
Down the other end, Roar-s Brazilian winger Henrique flashed a shot wide of the post, reminding Everton there was sting in Brisbane-s tail.
On the 37th minute mark, Reinaldo looked to open the scoring for Brisbane, but the big striker got his header wrong after being picked out by Broich.
Not to be outdone, Saha nearly etched his name on the score-sheet, but after bursting into the Roar box, he could only pick out Theoklitos on the goal line.
Everton started the second half in blistering fashion, rising star Rodwell curling home a beautiful shot from the edge of the area into the top corner to give the Merseyside club the lead.
Brisbane were finding spaces behind the Everton defence but it was the visitors with all the efforts on goal including a Leighton Baines shot which went high from a good free-kick position.
Roar captain Matt McKay was the next to threatenl, but the midfielder put his shot just too high and wide in the 59th minute.
The home fans didn-t have to wait long for their side to open their account at Suncorp Stadium for the season, new signing Barbarouses threading home after a quality knock-down by Mitch Nichols in the 66th minute.
Everton went close to regaining the lead from a corner, but the Roar was beginning to regain their composure on the ball after a shaky start to the second half.
And McKay again found himself in front of goal, but screwed his shot high and wide from the edge of the area with his right foot.
However, on the 83rd minute, Everton broke the hearts of Roar fans, Gueye slamming home from close range after a neat slide pass from fellow substitute Jose Baxter.
Victor Anichebe should have wrapped up the victory minutes later, but the Nigerian blasted straight at Theoklitos from just inside the penalty box.
Luke DeVere was almost an unlikely saviour for Brisbane, but the classy defender-s mazy run lacked the killer finish.
A pleased Postecoglou said he could not fault the effort of his players and predicted a bright future for the upcoming Hyundai A-League campaign.
“We got close on the scoreboard, but we played some good football and worked very, very hard,” Postecoglou said.
“I don-t think there was a bad player out there tonight … I thought the whole team was pretty solid.
“We said before the game we didn-t want to sit back and get a result for the sake of it, we actually wanted to play football.
“We pushed Everton really hard tonight which shows to the players, if they maintain those standards in the A-League, we will do very well.”
Brisbane Roar 1 (66- Barbarouses)
Everton FC 2 (48- Rodwell, 83- Gueye)
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael Theoklitos (gk), 2. Matt Smith, 3. Luke DeVere, 4. Shane Stefanutto (45- 12. Matt Mundy), 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Eric Paartalu, 10. Henrique, 11. Reinaldo (45- 7. Kosta Barbarouses), 15. Matt McKay (c), 18. Luke Brattan (45- 17. Mitch Nichols), 22. Thomas Broich
Unused Substitutes: 20. Andrew Redmayne (gk), 21. James Meyer, 23. Milan Susak, 24. Daniel Bowles, 25. Liam McCormick, 30. Matt Acton (gk)
Everton FC: 1. Ian Turner (gk), 3. Leighton Baines, 15. Sylvain Distin, 6. Phil Jagielka, 7. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (70- 19. Magaye Gueye), 8. Louis Saha (75- 14. James Vaughan), 18, Phil Neville (c), 21. Leon Osman, 26. Jack Rodwell (60- 28. Victor Anichebe), 23. Seamus Coleman, 16. Jermaine Beckford (75- 9. Jose Baxter)
Unused Substitutes: 2. Tony Hibbert, 11. Joao Pereira Da Silva, 22. Lukas Jutkiewicz, 25. Skodran Mustafi
Crowd: 19,786 at Suncorp Stadium