Brisbane Roar has continued its strong pre-season form, recording a 1-1 draw in a behind-closed-doors pre-season fixture against Melbourne City in Melbourne.
Fan favourite Henrique did what he does best in Brisbane orange, finding the back of the net before a second-half penalty for the hosts cancelled out the opener.
The clash was the Roar’s fifth against Hyundai A-League opposition already this pre-season, and provided more promising signs for Head Coach John Aloisi.
“It was a really good test for us today against a Melbourne City side with a few new players,” Aloisi said post-match.
“We started the game really well and Henrique’s goal was well taken after some great play between our front four. We had our moments in the first half, but it was a pretty even game overall and a good hit-out for both teams."
Only six minutes had been played when the Slippery Fish beat City keeper Mark Birighitti with a deft chip.
Roar’s attacking brigade continue to impress, providing further positive signs that the side’s new recruits are adapting well to the Brisbane style of play.
“It’s good for their confidence and to see they’re really combining well as a front four,” Aloisi continued.
“Toby (Danish recruit Tobias Mikkelsen) again showed improvement - he was combining really well with the likes of Adam Taggart, Stefan Mauk & Henrique.”
City were unable to break through the Brisbane defence in the opening 45 minutes, but would restore parity just 10 minutes after the break from the penalty spot through half-time substitute Dario Vidosic.
Defender Avram Papadopoulos made a long-awaited return following a serious ankle injury back in March, coming on in the heart of defence for the final half-hour.
“It’s been a long journey getting back for him. You can train as much as you want, but nothing replicates a game of football so it was good for him to get that awareness on the pitch back again and he dealt with their quick attack well,” Aloisi added.
“We need competition for places - that’s what makes not only a successful team, but it makes training competitive and allows us to play players in specific games.
“We want players fighting for their spot and that’s what we’ve got.”
The Roar continue preparations with two more pre-season fixtures in quick succession at Logan Metro Sports Park, firstly this Saturday night against a Flight Centre Brisbane Premier League Select outfit (6:30pm KO) before hosting the Young Socceroos next Thursday behind-closed-doors.
Hyundai A-League Pre-Season
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
City Football Academy, Melbourne
Melbourne City 1 (Vidosic 55’ pen.)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Henrique 6’)