Wow, what a game that was! Maybe not the massive controversy the first finals game brought but thoroughly entertaining nonetheless. This game saw Brisbane lead into the fixture as heavy favorites but as the game developed Adelaide set out to prove experts wrong by showing the hunger they were lacking throughout the latter part of this season.
Brisbane opened the scoring with Luke Brattan and Thomas Broich combining beautifully with a well-drilled set piece in which Brattan volleyed into the net. This was much assisted by Adelaide United veteran, Cassio who fluffed his lines completely resulting in the goal. The second was again a result of passive defending by Adelaide United in which Mitch Nichols was able to pass through several defenders to then hit a good cross for the on rushing and on fire Ivan Franjic who has been a immense for Brisbane Roar scoring 3 goals since being moved forward by Mike Mulvey. Dario Vidosic then scored a thunderbolt that then put heat on Brisbane, but the boys in orange prevailed 2-1 now setting their sight on next week’s blockbuster at Parramatta Stadium.
The first half by Brisbane Roar could be summarized into two words; elegance and precision. Mulvey is slowly starting to stamp his mark on this squad after a horrific season. Today Brisbane Roar and A-league fans saw the results of this steady rehabilitation of Brisbane Roar. No longer is the team passing from one side of the field racking up ridiculous amounts of possession to then lose the game 1-0. No, Brisbane are now using effective possession. Effective possession is deemed when a team uses possession to move forward, it can be seen when accumulation of passes result in a shot on goal or a sweeping movement forward. On Sunday Brisbane did this throughout the majority of the game. Adelaide would be attacking Brisbane goal to then loose possession in Brisbane half resulting in a fast sweep up the field by Brisbane resulting almost in a goal.
Not only was this a great display of our improvement but another example of Mulvey making the players believe again was their pressing. It was phenomenal! Andy Harper remarked that Brisbane seemed to have more players on the pitch because they were pressing so intensely, pressing teams as Mulvey has stated several times forces teams to do things they don’t want to do, some have stated Adelaide made a lot of mistakes but these mistakes came after the constant pressure by Brisbane. This aspect of our game will be a major aspect if roar are to defeat Western Sydney Wanderers.
Though their were many positives to come out of this game they were somewhat diminished with the injuries to key personal, Thomas Broich, Luke Brattan and Jack Hingert. In particular the club is sweating on the fitness of stand-in captain, Thomas Broich who was a vital component in this resurrected Roar side. It was obvious when he was subbed Roar lost that composure he brings to the field and oddly enough his defensive qualities, Broich has miraculously transformed into a box to box midfielder. It is concerning to think of the Wanderers exploiting that left hand-side with Ben Halloran not having, lets say, extensive footballing intelligence that Broich possesses.
Apart from these injuries the only concerning aspect of the performance was the final ball into the penalty area, especially hitting the aerial ball. This squad is severely lacking when it comes to the aerial root and so should aim to put a player at the back stick in which to sweep contested balls in the penalty area.
Overall it was a convincing victory. The defense scrapped and fought to not concede and the attack was precise and clinical. These aspects breath confidence into Brisbane Roar fans everywhere that maybe, just maybe, Brisbane could go all the way and achieve what no other team has done before and win the grand final for the third time in a row…
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