Brisbane in a Heart stopper

Costa Rican striker Jean Carlos Solorzano has scored a late goal to give Brisbane Roar a 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Costa Rican striker Jean Carlos Solorzano has scored a late goal to give Brisbane Roar a 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Having missed a penalty with just over 15 minutes to play it looked as though the match would end in a stalemate despite the attacking intentions of both sides throughout, but the Brisbane import was in the right place at the right time to secure the win with just two minutes left on the clock.

The match opened with excellent passing movements from both teams as they sought to create early opportunities for the strikers.

Kosta Barbarouses went close with a header from the middle of the box, Massimo Murdocca ran on to a quickly taken Matt McKay free-kick and his whipped cross was met by the New Zealand international but his effort went just wide.

However, it was the Heart who took the lead a minute later when Michael Marrone-s good run down the right was matched by his cross to Gerald Sibon, who hit a shot Michael Theoklitos got hands to but couldn-t keep out.

Barbarouses again went close again with an audacious attempted volley from a Stefanutto cross, but he couldn-t quite connect cleanly and again the ball went wide of the goal.

Rutger Worm very nearly put the home side two up on 16 minutes when his diving header struck the post and then Theoklitos before going out for a corner.

More hesitant Brisbane defending under the high ball nearly lead to another Heart goal with the bouncing ball falling to Wayne Shroj who laid an opportunity on for John Aloisi, but the former Socceroo-s effort was well saved by Theoklitos.

With half an hour gone on the clock, Luke DeVere looked to bring his side level in the contest when he received the ball and ran to the edge of the box, with his shot needing a good save from Clint Bolton.

Melbourne turned the pressure up as the first half drew to a close, pushing Brisbane deep into their own half and getting the ball into the box from wide areas.

Brisbane nearly had the response they were looking for inside the opening two minutes of the restart, with a sweeping move down the right ending with Ivan Franjic out wide and his cross met by the lively Barbarouses who hit the side netting with a difficult chance.

Aside from the chance, Brisbane opened the second half strongly and maintained the possession which had been so difficult to hold on to in the first half under good pressure from a confident Heart outfit.

Barbarouses again went close, this time latching on to a Thomas Broich through ball; his effort hit the post but he didn-t have to wait long to get on the score sheet.

Again some delightful lead-up play around the edge of the Heart box ended with Mitch Nichols who played an incredible through ball to the Kiwi who slotted inside the far post for his sixth goal of the season.

The introduction of Nichols by Ange Postecoglou looked to be a masterstroke as the young midfielder carved up the Heart on his introduction.

Heart responded well with both Eli Babalj and Alex Terra threatening the Roar goal in the aftermath of the equaliser.

Brisbane had a great opportunity to grab the lead on 72 minutes when Jean Carlos Solorzano was bundled over in the box, but Bolton made a save from a Franjic penalty straight up the middle of the goal.

DeVere had a diving header go wide a short time later from a Broich free-kick as the away side looked for the goal to give them all three points.

Brisbane were pushing hard on the Melbourne goal with Solorzano looking dangerous in the box, but they found Bolton and the Heart defence in no mood to give them any easy opportunities.

Rocky Visconte came on in injury time and was one-on-one with Bolton to make the game safe, but the veteran keeper stood tall to deny the young midfielder.

In the end the missed opportunity didn-t prove costly as Brisbane hung on for the win to take them four points clear at the top of the table.

Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou said he was confident his side had the capability to turn the match around despite being outplayed in the first half and going into the break 1-0 down.

“We were very flat in that first half and to their credit they started stronger and really came at us,” Postecoglou said.

“We sat back which is very unlike us and were probably lucky to get away with being one nil down at half time.

“In the first half I don-t think we had too many winners.

“The whole team stepped up in the second half and we played more like ourselves.”

Postecoglou-s eye was perfect, with the introduction of both Franjic and Nichols paying huge dividends for the Roar mentor.

“Ivan and Mitch were good when they came on and they changed the game for us.

“But as I said, I thought the whole team stepped up and we deserved the win in the end with the chances we created.”

Melbourne Heart 1 (Gerald SIBON 11-)
Brisbane Roar 2 (Kosta BARBAROUSES 65-, Jean Carlos SOLORZANO)
Sunday, 14 November 2010
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Ryan Shepheard

Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matt THOMPSON, 7. Rutger WORM, 9. Gerald SIBON (4. Simon COLOSIMO 68-), 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 15. John ALOISI (19. Eli BABALJ 55-), 16. Aziz BEHICH, 20. Josip SKOKO (11. Alex TERRA 61-).

Substitutes not used: 12. Peter ZOIS (gk)

Yellow cards: Josip SKOKO (53-), Wayne SHROJ (72-), Matt THOMPSON (76-)

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO (5. Ivan FRANJIC 46-), 6. Erik PAARTALU (17. Mitch NICHOLS 64-), 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (14. Rocky VISCONTE 90-+1), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK.

Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)

Yellow cards: Thomas BROICH (90-)

Red cards: Nil