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A-League 2014/15 – Round 21 – Phoenix Rising








Raining Goals In Sydney

Brisbane Roar’s run of questionable form producing solid results finally ran out when they met a rampaging Sydney FC side that has been scoring goals for fun in recent weeks.  After taking an early 1-0 lead in the game thanks to Henrique, Brisbane succumbed to the next four goals with in-form marquee striker Marc Janko scoring a hattrick for Sydney and breaking two goal scoring records – the most goals scored in consecutive games (seven) and the most goals for Sydney FC in a single season (sixteen).

The game should have been well and truly beyond the reach of Brisbane but Brandon Borrello and Steve Lustica both made an immediate impact when they came on the field.  The game finished with a flurry of three goals in the final five minutes to finish 5-4.

After this result, I think a few things are clear to me about the current Roar squad.  Firstly, the much maligned Jamie Young has improved leaps and bounds in goal.  It might sound odd to say that in a game where we conceded five goals but he saved a couple of clear goal scoring opportunities and two of the goals came from penalties.  Secondly, Corey Brown seems to be getting worse by the week and is becoming a major defensive liability for the Roar.  We had the good fortune of Brown getting selected for the Young Socceroos which means he’ll miss three games but long term the club needs to look at finding a replacement.  Stefanutto is on his final legs and the promise that Brown had been showing up till now seems to have evaporated.  His positional play is poor and he is becoming increasingly dirty in his tactics.

Lastly, a shout out to Steve Lustica – a Brisbane Roar utility player that doesn’t get the plaudits he deserves.  One of the struggles we’ve had this season has been that the goals have dried up from our attacking midfielders with Broich, Petratos and Brattan either not scoring at all or being significantly down on their output from previous seasons.  Lustica gets precious little game time but he’s actually consistently been able to find the net in his time at the club.  Maybe its time we gave him more of a go.

News And Notes

  • Wellington Phoenix finished the round on the top of the table for the first time in the club’s history, after they travelled to Perth and beat the former league leaders.  They thoroughly deserved the win and along with Sydney FC are one of the form teams in the competition.  They have no time to rest on their laurels however.  The top five teams in the competition are separated by just three points.
  • Newcastle Jets are finally where they deserved to be – bottom of the table.  Unbelievably, coach Phil Stubbins blamed a lack of depth in the squad for the club’s most recent loss.  An incredible excuse considering that he sacked half the squad this season including Kew Jaliens who scored against them for his new club Melbourne City.
  • Melbourne Victory look like they will face the same salary cap issue that Brisbane did recently when choosing between Broich and Berisha.  Fahid Ben Kalfallah has been a revelation for the club and in the most recent game provided the assist for every goal they scored.  Now it looks like the club will struggle to keep him as they can’t fit his asking price within their cap.
  • Josh Kennedy went down injured during City’s win over the Jets and might be out for the season.  Kennedy, Kewell, Koren, Engelaar…the club has a nasty track record of signing expensive marquee talent who get injured for long periods of time.  They might want to re-assess their recruitment policy.

About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.

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