Brisbane Roar battled hard but a last-minute Sydney FC strike sees the side go down 2-1 in their pre-season clash on the Gold Coast.
The Roar controlled the majority of the match and Brisbane Roar Head Coach Aloisi says the squad are working hard, and continuing to show signs of improvement.
"We're still working on our structures and it's a bit different to the way we played last season," he said.
"You want to win these games but the important thing is improving and there was more imporvement again this afternoon."
Thomas Broich (below) was at his creative best, directing play and constructing chances regularly through the 90 minutes.
"That was Thomas' first start since last season and he did really well," Aloisi said.
Brisbane had to withstand early pressure from the Sky Blues, conceding an early goal, before growing into the game and finishing the first period on top.
The Roar's pressing game intensified late in the first half as play rarely left the Roar’s attacking territory as half-time drew near.
The pressure paid dividends as Jamie Maclaren scored a deserved equaliser with the final kick of the first half. Broich superbly intercepted as Sydney FC attempted to pass their way out of defence before setting up Brisbane’s number nine.
The Roar dominated proceedings after the restart as the back four controlled play while Maclaren, Dimitri Petratos and Brandon Borrello continually threatened the Sydney defensive line.
Brisbane’s best opportunity came just before the hour mark when terrific build-up play from Brisbane’s attacking trio ended with Maclaren’s shot from close range rebounding back into play off the crossbar.
Unfortunately a Michael Zullo goal against the run of play in the 90th minute was the last action of the game.
Recruit Thomas Kristensen played 45 minutes in his first appearance in the Roar orange, and the Danish International controlled the tempo in midfield during the early stages.
Tommy Oar was amongst Brisbane’s best in the first period, dominating on the ball and creating chances with some lethal crossing, as did half-time substitute Dimitri Petratos.
Young Roar players Jayden Prasad, Nathan Konstandopoulos and Cameron Crestani were introduced during the second half and adapted quickly with Prasad close to providing an assist for young striker Joey Katebian.
12’: GOAL SYDNEY: Matt Simon receives them ball on the edge of the area as Sydney have a numerical advantage. The striker shoots from 20m and finds the top right corner. 0-1
19’: CHANCE SYDNEY : Rhyan Grant shoots from a similar position to where Simon scored moments before. The ball hits the bar and goes behind for a Roar goal-kick
23’: CHANCE ROAR : The Sydney defence permits Corey Brown too much space allowing the defender to shoot, which is comfortably saved.
31’: CHANCE ROAR: Devilish ball from the left wing from Jacob Pepper narrowly missed the head of Brandon Borrello and is scrambled clear from inside the six-yard area
45’: GOAL ROAR: Thomas Broich intercepts as Sydney attempt to pass their way out of defence before crossing low to the goal-mouth where Jamie Maclaren is able to scrap the ball over the line. 1-1
47’: CHANCE ROAR : Sky Blues’ clearance only goes as far as Petratos 25m from goal whose second-touch shot is blocked.
53’: CHANCE ROAR: Broich takes on the Sydney defence on the left wing, cuts inside and shoots from 20m, stinging the palms of Janjetovic.
59’: CHANCE ROAR : Terrific link-up between Borrello and Petratos sees the latter break into the box. Brisbane’s number 23 opts not to shoot and squares the ball across the face to Maclaren who has to stretch and hits the crossbar with a shot from close range.
79’: CHANCE ROAR: Curling cross from Thomas Broich finds Petratos at the back post who is unable to direct his header on goal.
83’: CHANCE ROAR : Young gun Jayden Prasad whips in a cross from the right wing which narrowly evades a stretching Joey Katebian in the centre.
87’: CHANCE ROAR: Terrific run along the by-line from Petratos sees the Roar’s number 23 break into the area. The winger then cuts back inside, opens the angle and his shot towards goal is deflected behind for a corner.
89’: GOAL SYDNEY: A scramble in the box finds its way to Michael Zullo who fires home with a driven shot from 15m. 1-2
Brisbane Roar Head Coach JOHN ALOISI: "Sydney made it hard for us to play and then they created a few chances on our mistakes, and scored a goal.
"Towards the end of the first half, we started to find where we could play. Second half was good, we created a lot of changes again. We managed to get into really good areas in the second half, we just need to punish them.
"This is the time to test combinations and see hope they work,
On Roar winger Dimitri Petratos: "He did really well. He got into positions, his movement was good. We know what he's capable of doing and I think this season can be even better than last season
"We'll have a couple more players come in and we're going to improve even more.
"It was disappointing to concede right at the end. I thought we could have had a foul in the lead up but that's part of it when a bit of fatigue starts to set in.
"It's been heavy over the last couple of days. This phase is where we will train our hardest and we knew we weren't going to be at our best.
"It shows that if we can play under that fatigue as well as we did, particularly in the second half, once we are fresh we'll be even better."
The Roar play against a Football Brisbane Flight Centre Premier League Select squad at Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (QSAC) on Saturday, 27 August (7:30pm KO) before a pre-season clash against Central Coast Mariners at Corporate Travel Management Stadium on Saturday, 10 September (3pm KO).
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar, CBUS Super Stadium, Saturday, 20 August
Sydney FC 2 (Simon 12’, Zullo 90’)
Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Maclaren 45’)
Brisbane Roar FC: 4.Daniel BOWLES (35.Cameron CRESTANI 76’), 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (17.Matt MCKAY 46’), 8.Jacob PEPPER (39.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS 61’), 9.Jamie MACLAREN (33.Joey KATEBIAN 76’), 11.Thomas OAR (23.Dimitri PETRATOS 46’), 13.Jade NORTH (gk), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 28.Brandon BORRELLO (42.Jayden PRASAD 67’)
Unused substitutes: 41.Tomislav BILIC (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Peter Green; Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin; Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Lindsay