Moon, O’Shea proud of Roar effort after fast finish

Warren Moon

Warren Moon was left with a strong sense of pride while Jay O’Shea reflected on positive signs for the season ahead following Brisbane Roar’s brave display in Friday night’s Isuzu UTE A-League opener.

The Roar came within a whisker of a battling point away to Melbourne City after a strong second-half showing resulted in a narrow 2-1 defeat.

Luke Ivanović’s header halved a two-goal half-time deficit before a marginal offside call denied Kai Trewin what looked to be the leveller.

Jesse Daley also went within inches of a stoppage-time equaliser as Brisbane finished the contest with fresher legs despite travelling to Victoria on an early morning flight.

“I’m really proud of this group,” Moon told Michael Zappone on the Paramount+ post-match coverage.

“It took a while to get going but defensively we were structured well. It was disappointing to concede the two set-pieces just before half-time. Then at half-time we spoke about what we wanted to do.

“Changes needed to be made. But given the fact we had to travel today, we knew those changes were going to be needed. They gave us a bit of speed and mobility through the team.

“It wasn’t to be and obviously a few decisions didn’t go our way but overall I’m incredibly proud of the boys’ effort.”

Ivanović’s first Isuzu UTE A-League goal in orange came from O’Shea’s superb curling cross and the Irish midfielder also supplied the teasing free-kick that Trewin nodded into the net in the 80th minute.

Asked if he felt unlucky not to come away with a point, stand-in skipper O’Shea said: “I think so. Especially with the free-kick. I’m not sure if it was offside but it looked very tight on the big screen. I’ll have to watch it again.

“We dug deep. It was going to be tough being two goals down at half-time but to come out and put that performance in, that’ll stand us in good stead for the season.

“We work hard on the training ground on set-pieces. We probably should have come away with a draw in the end.

“[City are] a very good side, they made us work really hard, and it’s just disappointing that we conceded two goals from set plays because we worked hard in open play to stop them.”

Having flown straight back to Queensland after the match, the Roar must now complete a quarantine period before returning to the track.

Moon’s men head back to Melbourne next Sunday for a meeting with Tony Popovic’s Victory.