A resilient Brisbane Roar mounted a rousing fightback and had an equaliser disallowed for a contentious offside call in a narrow 2-1 loss to reigning Isuzu UTE A-League champions Melbourne City in Friday night’s season opener.
Luke Ivanovic’s goal off the bench gave Warren Moon’s men a way back after they fell two behind and an 80th-minute header from Kai Trewin appeared to have completed a cracking late comeback at AAMI Park.
But an offside flag against the defender meant City were able to cling onto all three points despite coming under significant pressure as the match wore on.
The hosts had started the stronger of the two sides, making the most of their fresh legs in comparison to a Roar side that was forced to travel down from Brisbane on gameday.
Curtis Good and Connor Metcalfe supplied City’s goals late in the first half, but there were plenty of positive signs in the face of tough circumstances that Moon, his coaching staff and Roar supporters will prefer to reflect on as the team shifts its attention to next weekend’s meeting with Melbourne Victory at the same venue.
Melbourne City | Curtis Good (40′)
1-0 – Macklin Freke’s reflex save from Jamie Maclaren’s volley falls kindly for Good to turn in at point-blank range.
Melbourne City | Connor Metcalfe (43′)
2-0 – Scott Jamieson’s dink forward finds Metcalfe, who takes a couple of touches before unleashing a left-footed strike that takes a deflection on its way into the goal.
Brisbane Roar | Luke Ivanovic (71′)
2-1 – Jay O’Shea curls a delightful ball into the box, which lively substitute Ivanovic powerfully heads home.
Isuzu UTE A-League Round 1
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Friday, 19 November 2021
Melbourne City 2 (Good 40′ Metcalfe 43′)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Ivanovic 71′)
Isuzu UTE A-League Round 2
Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 28 November 2021