First goal key to Brisbane success

Being first to put the ball in the back of the net holds significant value to Brisbane Roar with statistics showing that over the past two Hyundai A-League seasons, the team has never lost after scoring the match’s opening goal.

Being first to put the ball in the back of the net holds significant value to Brisbane Roar with statistics showing that over the past two Hyundai A-League seasons, the team has never lost after scoring the match-s opening goal.

During their memorable 2010/11 season, which saw the club make history with their maiden Hyundai A-League premiership and championship double, the Roar scored the opening goal on 21 occasions with 18 wins and three draws.

Ange Postecoglou-s men have only been first to take the lead eight times in 20 games so far in the current campaign but on each occasion has avoided defeat to record five wins and three draws.

When Erik Paartalu blasted home a deflected cross from Nick Fitzgerald five minutes into Saturday-s match-up with Central Coast Mariners, it was the first time the Brisbane club had opened the scoring since their 4-0 rout of Perth Glory on November 26 - the game that saw the Roar claim the Australian record of 36 games without a loss.

Defender Ivan Franjic reiterated the significance of taking an early lead.

“It-s definitely a big difference scoring first because then we don-t have to open up defensively and go all out in attack to try and get the equaliser which leaves holes in the back-line,” he said.

“I think we-ve been performing well week in, week out, it-s just a big difference when you concede early and you have to chase the game which makes it hard for us.

“On the weekend, we got the first goal which meant the team had to come out and attack us which leaves them open at the back and gives us a lot more opportunities.”

With a trip to New Zealand to play Wellington Phoenix next on the Roar-s agenda, the Victorian Premier League product anticipated an open, attacking game given the current league standings which show the Phoenix one place and one point above Brisbane in second.

“I think, being at home, Wellington will attack a lot more,” Franjic said.

“They-ll come out and try and get the first goal then maybe sit back or maybe not, but they-ve got a lot of talented players up front that can cause a lot of damage.”

First goal-scoring record

This Season (to date): After scoring opening goal - Played 8; Won 5, Drawn 3, Lost 0 After conceding opening goal - Played 12; Won 4, Drawn 2, Lost 6 Nil-all draws - 0

Last Season: After scoring opening goal - Played 21, Won 18, Drawn 3, Lost 0 After conceding opening goal - Played 10, Won 1, Drawn 8, Lost 1 Nil-all draws - 2