Brisbane’s ACL hopes dashed in Tokyo


Brisbane Roar has fallen just short of progressing through to the next stage of the AFC Champions League despite an impressive performance in their 4-2 defeat to FC Tokyo on match day five.

Brisbane Roar has fallen just short of progressing through to the next stage of the AFC Champions League despite an impressive performance in their 4-2 defeat to FC Tokyo on match day five.

The first half of football didn-t disappoint with the rain-soaked crowd at National Stadium treated to five goals in the opening 45 minutes.

Brisbane needed to win by a margin of more than two goals to keep any hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages alive and their intent was shown as early as the fourth minute when Besart Berisha was the quickest to react after his own header bounced off the upright.

In similar fashion to last weekend-s Hyundai A-League Grand Final win, Thomas Broich provided the cross for the Albanian striker who now holds the rare tag of having scored in both the AFC Champions League and the UEFA Champions League.

Before the strong contingent of travelling Roar fans even finished celebrating, they were made to hold their heads in their hands as Tokyo equalised less than sixty seconds later.

The ball fell fortuitously to Hideto Takahashi on the edge of the penalty box and the defender blasted it past Brisbane goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos with no fear, leaving the score at 1-1 after just five minutes on the clock.

While the Roar were notching up some reasonable chances in front of goal, the game-s momentum swung the other way on the 20 minute mark when FC Tokyo staged an impressive counter attack.

Ranko Popovic-s men were quick to move the ball through the midfield and with the Roar-s defence stretched, Kenta Mukuhara was left unmarked at the far post, giving him an easy tap-in to hand his side the lead.

Broich then turned goal scorer 13 minutes later, curling a left-footed shot around the diving efforts of FC Tokyo custodian Hitoshi Shiota on the second attempt after his first strike was aptly dealt with by the timely intervention of a defender.

But the J-League club weren-t ready to head into the changing rooms just yet.

A clumsy challenge from Brisbane-s Mohamed Adnan saw Qatari referee Abdullash Baloushi award a penalty kick with striker Kazuma Watanabe sending Theoklitos the wrong way in the last meaningful event of the first half.

The away side started the second 45 minute period knowing they needed four goals and eleven minutes in, all hopes were dashed as Watanabe scored his second of the night – sneaking the ball inside the near post after he was picked out by a superb pass.

The Roar continued to press high up the park but to no avail as even the introduction of Rocky Visconte, Mitch Nichols and Matt Jurman could not change the 4-2 result.

Brisbane Roar’s new Head Coach Rado Vidosic said he was pleased with his side’s efforts, praising their intent to continue playing fluent, attacking football throughout the contest.

“There was a little bit of a difference in terms of finishing,” Vidosic said.

“We started really well, scoring an early goal which was our plan.

“Unfortunately 30 seconds later FC Tokyo equalised and after we scored the second goal we didn’t defend as effectively as we needed to.

“Our league is only seven years old and we don’t have as much experience competing in this competition as the teams from Japan, China and South Korea.

“For us to have the opportunity to play against teams from these countries has been a very important experience for us.”

AFC Champions League – Match day 5
FC Tokyo 4 (TAKAHASHI Hideto 5-, MUKUHARA Kenta 20-, WATANABE Kazuma (p) 44-, 60-)
Brisbane Roar 2 (Besart BERISHA 4-, Thomas BROICH 33-)
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan
Referee: Abdullah Baloushi (Qatar)

FC Tokyo: 2. TOKUNAGA Yuhei, 3. Masato MORISHIGE, 4. TAKAHASHI Hideto, 8. HASEGAWA Ariajasuru, 10. KAJIYAMA Yohei (c) (18. ISHIKAWA Naohiro 86-), 11. WATANABE Kazuma (49. Lucas SEVERINO 73-), 20. Shuichi GONDA (gk), 22. HANYU Naotake (7. YONEMOTO Takuji 79-), 30. Soo Jang-Hyun, 33. MUKUHARA Kenta, 39. YAZAWA Tatsuya

Substitutes not used: 1. SHIOTA Hitoshi (gk), 6. OTA Kosuke, 17. KAWANO Hiroki, 24. SHIGEMATSU Kentaro

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Besart BERISHA, 16. Mohamed ADNAN, 18. Luke BRATTAN (4. Matthew JURMAN 67-), 21. James MEYER, 22. Thomas BROICH, 24. Nick FITZGERALD

Substitutes not used: 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Kofi DANNING, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil