Brisbane breaks Melbourne’s Heart

Two first half goals were enough to secure Brisbane Roar a 2-0 win over Hyundai A-League new boys Melbourne Heart in the historic match played between the two sides in Toowoomba.

Two first half goals were enough to secure Brisbane Roar a 2-0 win over Hyundai A-League new boys Melbourne Heart in the historic match played between the two sides in Toowoomba.

Both sides fielded less than full-strength teams in the Melbourne club-s first official hit-out against Hyundai A-League opposition, but it didn-t detract from the spectacle in front of nearly 3000 vocal Toowoomba locals.

Brisbane had the first opportunity of the match courtesy of the penalty spot after Simon Colosimo brought down Henrique in the box after six minutes.

The little Brazilian winger stepped up to the spot himself, but a slip on the run up saw him put his effort wide of Clint Bolton-s goal.

The Heart had their opening effort after 11 minutes when Jason Hoffman lined up a free-kick from just outside the box, however he skied his effort horribly.

The action was end-to-end early in the contest, with the sides seemingly not content just to feel each other out.

Broich was the next to get a shot on goal with a spectacular volley from in line with the penalty spot from a pinpoint Kosta Barbarouses cross from the right.

Brisbane began to take control of the match with some good passing movements finding holes in the Heart midfield.

The Roar opened the scoring after 19 minutes courtesy of some individual brilliance by Nichols and excellent passing from Thomas Broich.

After a mazy run down the right, Nichols played a perfect one-two with the German before slotting home with his left foot.

Three minutes later Luke Brattan tried his luck with a long-range free-kick aimed at the bottom corner, but an alert Bolton just kept the ball out of the net.

Matt Smith then proved he was more than just a simple centre-half with an audacious overhead attempt at goal following a Brattan corner that did everything but cross the line.

Luke DeVere was next to attempt to beat Bolton when a drilled Brattan free-kick fell at his feet, but the Heart goalkeeper was able to deal with his snap shot.

Broich then unloaded from fully 25m with a thunderous drive which Bolton was only just able to push past the corner.

However, from the corner he was well beaten when Matt McKay reacted quickest in the box to a DeVere header to deflect the ball into the goal.

Brisbane were rampant as the half drew to a close, pushing forward at will with Broich at the heart of the best action.
With two minutes remaining in the half, Jason Hoffman launched an effort from long range but the shot went comfortably over Andrew Redmayne-s goal.

Just seconds remained in the half when Barbarouses stung the palms of Bolton after looking to make the most of a Melbourne defensive effort.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for Daniel Bowles as he was introduced into the action when Brattan was forced off with injury five minutes after the restart.

Broich showed no signs of letting up on the Heart defence after creating an opportunity for himself two minutes later, but struck his shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

Melbourne began to show more purpose in the second stanza with some concerted forward pressure for the first time in the match.

Gradually Brisbane again began to control the tempo of the match, but gaps in the Heart defence were becoming harder to find.

Heart, though, showed they were still in it to win with Aziz Behich latching on to a good through ball, but his shot was directed straight at Redmayne.

Substitute James Meyer was presented with a golden opportunity in the box to extend the lead courtesy of some persistence by Matt Mundy, but after beating his defender he sprayed the ball wide with his left foot from close range.

Mitch Nichols then very nearly capped an extremely industrious personal performance at the death when he ran onto a Henrique through ball only to watch his rasping shot crash into the cross bar.

The attempt was the final chance of the match as Brisbane recorded another pre-season win and another clean sheet.

Captain McKay said while the boys would not be getting carried away with the victory, the signs were promising for a good start to the season.

“It was a good result against a new side, but like us they still have a long way to go until the start of the season,” McKay said.

“But it-s good signs that we were able to keep another clean sheet and that-s good news coming into the season.”

Head coach Ange Postecoglou said he was satisfied with the result, but wants to see his side continue to improve and progress as the pre-season rolls on.

“I think progress is the key word for us we want to improve every time we go out there and I think we did that tonight,” Postecoglou said.

“I think we-re still six weeks out from the start of the season, so there-s still plenty of time to work on things.

“But I think the players are starting to understand how each other plays and that-s a good thing.”

Brisbane Roar 2 (Mitch NICHOLS 19-, Matt McKAY 35-)
Melbourne Heart 0
Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba

Brisbane Roar: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Ivan FRANJIC (6. Erik PAARTALU 46-), 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (24. James MEYER 71-), 12. Matt MUNDY, 13. HENRIQUE, 15. Matt McKAY (capt), 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN (26. Daniel BOWLES 50-), 22. Thomas BROICH.

Substitute (not used): 30. Matt ACTON (gk).

Yellow cards: Ivan FRANJIC (27-), Thomas BROICH (45-), Mitch NICHOLS (55-), Erik PAARTALU (62-)

Red cards: Nil

Melbourne Heart: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Brendan HAMILL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO (16. Stefan VRBESIC 67-), 7. Rutger WORM, 12. Aziz BEHICH, 13. Gouramangi SINGH, 14. Kamal IBRAHIM (20. Sam MUNRO 53-), 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 18. Ante TOMIC (23. Dean HEFFERNAN 46-), 19. Eli BABALJ, 21. Kliment TASESKI.

Substitutes (not used): 2. Michael MARRONE, 25. Marko SUTALO (gk).

Yellow cards: Simon COLOSIMO (6-)