Roar v Glory

A-League report by Adrian Demack
Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory

A comedy of errors and opportunistic attackers led to Perth's first victory over the Roar in four years as well as their first away win in seven games.

The teams lined up as expected, Brisbane drastically hamstrung with Zullo, Tiatto, McKay, Murdocca and Packer unavailable through injury and DeVere, Nichols and Oar away on under 20 international duty. The Brisbane line up is vastly different to the one from the start of the year but will be the one in place through this rough patch.

Farina has moved away from his 4-3-3 in favour of a 4-4-2, having both Van Dijk and Reinaldo up front. Dave Mitchell's Glory lined up in a similar formation with Harnwell and Jelic up front and marquee signing Sterjovski on the left.

The game swung Perth's way just 45 seconds after the first whistle when Mile Sterjovski put a great curling ball into the area and forced Josh McCloghan to make a play at it to beat the attacker. Unfortunately his header was a lot better finish than a touch from the striker would have ever been and it zipped past Reddy into the back of the net.

Brisbane are severely under staffed in the midfield at the moment, with Bob Malcolm playing the holding role and David Dodd the zippy agitating mid. Neither of them however played their roles well. Bob Malcolm terrible first touch and lack of passing direction makes him possible one of the worst candidates for his position, as was proved in the 40th minute when Malcolm's first touch was not quite a pass to Dodd and was quickly nipped by Wayne Srhoj who played a great one two with Jamie Harnwell and chipped a rushing Reddy.

Neither side had to much fluidity to their play in the first half but the Glory's classy players had made the Roar pay for their mistakes, and would continue to in the second half.

First in the 50th minute however Brisbane managed to pull one back when a quick free kick (similar to the way Gold Coast got the second one against them last week) was played to Henrique who managed to move it onto his right passed two defenders and get a low shot off into the near corner.

But it wasn't only the midfield where new players hadn't gelled in the Brisbane side. Recent Roar signing Franjic, a A-League standard right back hasn't had enough experience with the boy as was evident in the 13th minute when he ruined an offside trap (luckily he himself chased back and cleared off the line) and again in the 60th minute when he failed to clear out from a corner, staying on the near post. The ball came back down to Sterjovski whose low cross was tapped in by Jelic to bring it to 3-1.

But the Roar kept pushing, this phase seeing Miller and Reinaldo denied before Van Dijk touched the ball down, and drove the shot low. It took a deflection into the net but the Indo-Dutchman claimed the goal.

The roar threatened but never really looked like equalising as the two goal buffer was restored by Pellegrino in the 75th minute. In one of the strangest goal this season the midfielder put the cross into the area from 40 yards out. The ball had a huge amount of spin and snow when it came down and Reddy had some traffic to contend with but the ball just fell through his hands. There were suggestions of a push from Harnwell but really the mistake was inexplicable. 4-2.

So a match of defensive errors and attacking opportunism gave six goals and further condensed the A-League table with Perth leap-frogging Brisbane into fourth and the Roar dropping from third to fifth. If Perth can continue to pick up points away they will definitely be around come finals time, the Roar however have to pick up their game, regardless of whose playing.