Brisbane Roar knows exactly what the team needs to do to get through to the AFC Champions League Round of 16 – score goals and plenty of them against Urawa Red Diamonds at Gold Coast Stadium tonight (7pm kick-off).
The Roar is currently third in Group G with seven points and a goal difference of -1 heading into tonight’s Match Day Six fixture. Second-placed Suwon Samsung FC and group leaders Beijing Guoan, both on 10 points and a goal difference of +3, face off in South Korea simultaneously.
Brisbane needs to beat Urawa by several goals and hope Suwon overcome Beijing with a similar result. A draw at Suwon World Cup Stadium would mean Suwon and Beijing would advance on 11 points and the Hyundai A-League club would miss out on the knockout stage of the competition.
Roar interim Head Coach Frans Thijssen said while he can’t control the outcome of the other MD6 encounter, he would do all in his power to ensure his side came up with the desired result at Gold Coast Stadium tonight.
“We all know the positions of the four clubs,” Thijssen said.
“It’s for us very clear – we have to win the game and look at the other result. The only thing we can do is do the job here.
“We have to go for it, from the beginning. We have 90 minutes to get the goals and that’s what we have to do.”
German marquee man Thomas Broich, who scored the Roar’s only goal in last Friday’s Elimination Final, is expected to line-up against the J-League club despite copping a heavy knock to the face in the loss to Adelaide United.
Thijssen will have the majority of Friday’s squad at his disposal but will be without left-back Corey Brown who will miss the match through suspension.
The Roar coach opted not to divulge in the official pre-match press conference who he would name in that position, with veteran left-back Shane Stefanutto injured, preferring to focus on the attacking approach his side would be taking.
“We have to score a couple of goals and of course that’s not easy, when you’re thinking like that but it’s the only way for us to reach the next round,” he said.
“We have to play attacking football without losing the organisation – that’s very important.”
Pivotal midfielder Luke Brattan said the team would have to be focused in all areas of the park. Brisbane has conceded seven goals in the past five AFC Champions League group stage matches but has also kept a clean sheet in both 1-0 wins over Urawa in Japan and Beijing in China.
“We still have to be smart at the back and tight and don’t let anything past,” he said.
“That’s just how we play in general, we’re a very aggressive team and we’ve got great attacking, creative players.”
Tickets for tonight’s match are available through Ticketek. Tickets are only $10 for adults, $5 children and $25 for a family (two adults/two children) if pre-purchased and include public transport to and from Gold Coast Stadium.