Brisbane Roar has just fallen short in a highly entertaining Hyundai A-League contest against Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium on Saturday night.
The Roar played quality football throughout the 90 minutes and had their fair share of chances in a narrow 2-1 defeat.
After the first quarter hour of play, in which the Sky Blues opened the scoring through Adam Le Fondre, the Roar went toe-to-toe with the hosts, pushing them right to the final whistle.
Interim Head Coach Darren Davies was proud of his side’s performance and fight.
“I thought we gave it a really good go and could’ve got something in the end,” Davies said post-match.
“The boys were fantastic, they dug in and showed great team spirit.
“That’s a tribute to the playing group and now we’ve just got to move on.”
Sky Blues striker Le Fondre scored the first of his two goals in the 15th minute as the home side had the better of the opening stages of the game.
Brisbane went on to have the better of the play for the reminder of the half with their well organised defence acting as the cornerstone.
Skipper Matt McKay embraced a more attacking role, scoring his first goal of the season, and his first since the sides last met in March, in the 35th minute.
A beautifully weighted ball from the right side from Eric Bautheac found Dane Ingham at the back post who, via a deflection off keeper Andrew Redmayne, found his skipper to draw the Roar level.
Brandon O’Neill then set up Le Fondre’s second in the 55th minute with a well-placed short cross to return Sydney’s lead.
Brisbane had the chance for a second in the dying stages from the penalty spot, but a save from Redmayne denied the Roar what would have been a deserved equaliser from a valiant showing to round out 2018.
“From after the first 15 minutes where they [Sydney FC] had more possession then us, we got into the game and hurt them in transition,” Davies added.
“I thought the lads’ effort tonight was first class.”
Brisbane now have just a three-day turnaround until their next game against the Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Wednesday, 2 January (6:50pm KO).
STORY OF THE GAME
- The Roar’s team sheet featured five players under the age of 21, with four earning minutes.
- Strong away support greeted Brisbane Roar at Jubilee Stadium with a sea of orange in the away bay.
- Captain Matt McKay continued a purple patch against the Sky Blues, scoring for a second straight meeting.
- Adam Le Fondre scores both of Sydney FC’s goals and extends his lead for the Golden Boot race.
- In a more attacking role, teenager Dane Ingham was superb on the right side of the Roar front three, as was fellow winger Eric Bautheac.
- Jamie Young was again outstanding between the posts for the Roar keeping the home side at bay on numerous occasions during the 90 minutes of Hyundai A-League action at Jubilee Stadium.
Sydney FC – Le Fondre 16’ – 1-0
Adam Le Fondre scores his eighth goal of the season, heading home a well-placed lofted ball from Michael Zullo.
Brisbane Roar – McKay 35’ – 1-1
The Roar skipper scores off his chest from point-blank range following slick ball movement and two superb passes from Eric Bautheac and Dane Ingham.
Sydney FC – Le Fondre 55’ – 2-1
Le Fondre scores his second of the night from close range off the assist from Brandon O’Neill, who crosses from the left hand side of the box for the Englishman to guide the ball int the net.
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 10: Sydney FC vs Brisbane Roar FC
Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, 29 December
Sydney FC 1 ( Le Fondre 16’, 55’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (McKay 35’)