Brisbane out for back-to-back wins

Brisbane Roar take on the Macarthur Bulls away at Campbelltown Sports Stadium this Sunday in hopes of getting three points to follow up on their outstanding win against Perth Glory at home last week that snapped a seven-game winless run.  

Macarthur FC have won only one of their last four Isuzu UTE A-League games against Brisbane Roar FC, though they are unbeaten against the Roar in their last two meetings with a win and a draw.  

They sit eighth place on the ladder with Brisbane just behind in ninth place, making for a must-see clash as the Roar aim to work their way up.   

The Bulls have lost five of their last seven games including their last two in a row and Brisbane are hoping to make that three.  

The match remained scoreless after their last meeting in Round 1 of the current 2022/23 Isuzu UTE A-League season.  

Although resulting in a 0-0 draw, Brisbane were the stronger side in creating goal opportunities and pressuring Macarthur’s defence throughout the game.  

A header from Jack Hingert into the goal area in the 14th minute found Riku Danzaki to hit a volley directed to the left side of goal but was stopped by Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Curto.  

Just a few minutes later, Carlo Armiento crossed the ball in for Charlie Austin to attempt a shot from the top of the goal box, but it goes wide of the left post.  

A defensive miscommunication nearly cost Brisbane a goal as Al Hassan Toure from Macarthur tried to convert off the mistake, but Jordan Holmes had it covered.  

In the 36th minute, Macarthur’s Toure dribbled the ball into the 18-yard box and crossed the ball to Anthony Carter who had a shot at an open goal but sent the ball over the cross bar instead.  

The Bulls found another opportunity in the 54th minute when Daniel Arzani floated a ball over the top of the Brisbane defence for Carter to strike off a volley, but Jordan Holmes was there to save it.   

Austin played a near-post header in the 71st minute but Curto made the crucial save against what was the last opportunity for Brisbane.  

Brisbane Roar skipper Tom Aldred has blocked a total of 20 shots at goal this season, which is the second-most of any player in the Isuzu UTE A-League competition, a reflection of his pivotal role in defence each week.  

Last Sunday, in the victory against Perth Glory, Jez Lofthouse started for the Roar for the first time since January 14 against Wellington Phoenix and put on a great performance.  

“I’m obviously really grateful for the opportunity to come into the team and play my part. We know with finals football, there’s potential, there’s a possibility but we’re just taking it one game at a time,” Lofthouse said. 

“I’ve been struggling with a few injuries and had some illnesses here and there and coming in and out of the team has been a bit difficult but I’m very grateful to start and play a large amount of game on the weekend,” he added. 

Lofthouse will be looking for more minutes in the Isuzu UTE A-League working under new Interim Head Coach Nick Green.   

“Hopefully towards the back end of the season I can keep getting a few more opportunities and try and cement myself in the team a bit more,” he said.  

Ahead of the Macarthur match-up, Interim Head Coach Green is looking forward to the opportunity to pick up points and is not letting the excitement of last weekend’s result impact the mindset of the team as they travel to Sydney.  

“We’re looking forward to the game on Sunday, I think we had a good week last week but now that’s put to bed,” Green said.  

“We all want to win games in football, we had a good week with the boys, and we are looking to try and build on that. It was pleasing but quite quickly in football things can change, we’re looking for a level of consistency” he added.  

Green is not concerned about ladder positioning and aims to keep standards high and maintain positivity within the group.   

“The league table only matters when the last ball is kicked in the last game of the season and we’re not there yet. There’s a lot of points to play for,” Green said.  

“We’re going to have ups and downs, but we just have to remain level-headed. Let’s see where we are at that last game of the season.” 

“Anybody can beat anybody in this league. If you let standards drop, or you’re not striving to find that consistency then you might be at the end of a bad result. We believe in what we’ve got here at the club, there’s a lot of good young talent that we want to try and drive forward,” he said.  

“There’s a lot of belief here as well. If things don’t go our way, then we know we can reset the button and go again in the following week.”  

Catch the action at 2:00pm AEST on Paramount+ and 10Bold. 

Ins & Outs: 

Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s Squad: 1.Macklin Freke (gk), 2.Scott Neville, 3.Jordan Courtney-Perkins, 5.Thomas Aldred ©, 7.Rahmat Akbari, 10.Nikola Mileusnic, 11. Jez Lofthouse 12.Taras Gomulka, 13.Henry Hore, 15.Noah Smith, 16.Joshua Brindell-South, 17.Carlo Armiento, 19 Jack Hingert, 21.Marcel Canadi, 22.Stefan Scepovic, 23.Jordan Holmes (gk), 27.Kai Trewin, 35.Louis Zabala, 99. Ayom Majok, 19. Jack Hingert 

 Ins: 2.Scott Neville, 22.Stefan Stepovic 

 Outs: Jay O’Shea (Broken Toe), Robbie Kruse (Injured), Joe Knowles (Injured) 

 Unavailable: Nil