Brisbane Roar’s leading scorer Henrique says he is enjoying his best season yet with the club and predicted the firepower in the squad could surprise South Korea side Suwon Samsung FC in their AFC Champions League clash at Gold Coast Stadium on Wednesday night.
Henrique netted the Roar’s first goal against Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday, his eighth of the season.
Although the Roar lost the game – going down in a nine-goal thriller – Henrique said Brisbane’s four goals highlighted that the Roar attack could not be taken lightly in any circumstances.
“It is the first time I have scored eight in the A-League and I am really happy with my form at the moment,” Henrique said.
“Our forward line has a lot of good players. It doesn’t really matter who is going to play we are always dangerous up front.”
Roar interim Head Coach Frans Thijssen said defensive midfielder Luke Brattan would be welcomed back into the squad after serving a one-week suspension in the Hyundai A-League last weekend.
“We always miss him if he is not playing because he is doing a good job for the team,” Thijssen said.
Thijssen conceded it was hard to understand how a team which had defended leads so well against Urawa and Western Sydney in recent weeks could concede five goals in the 5-4 loss to Sydney FC on Sunday.
“We made too many mistakes in the last game,” Thijssen said.
Thijssen said he wanted his players to repeat their performance in Japan two weeks ago when the Roar posted their first victory in the AFC Champions League with a 1-0 win over Urawa Red Diamonds.
“We were very unlucky against Beijing, losing (0-1 on a stoppage time deflection) after being so much on top. We had to put things right in Japan and that’s what we did,” Thijssen said.
“We are playing at home and have to win. It’s as simple as that.
“We are playing against a very good team, they are very aggressive. It won’t be easy for us but we are confident that we can get a result.”
The Roar and Suwon are locked on three points each and are three points behind group leaders Beijing Guoan who play Urawa at home tonight.
Bluewings Head Coach Seo Jung-Won said it was still early days in the Group Stage but admitted a loss in tomorrow’s game would make it hard for either the Roar or the Bluewings to finish in the top two and advance to the next stage.
“Everyone knows it is a very tough game for us,” Seo said.
“We will put out our best line up . . . and do our best to win the match.”
Suwon vice-captain and midfielder Kim Eun-sun acknowledged that like the Roar, juggling domestic and AFC Champions League programs had been taxing for the Bluewings.
Suwon won their opening AFC Champions League game 2-1 against Japan’s Urawa but lost 1-0 to Beijing Guoan on Matchday Two.
At the same time they lost their opening K-League fixture 1-0 to Pohang Steelers but bounced back to record a 2-1 win over Incheon last Saturday before getting on the plane to Australia.
Kim said the schedule had been challenging and and the Bluewings were working hard to maintain their mental mental focus. He said he was sure the Roar was in a similar position after so much travel recently.
“The team that makes the least mistakes will win,” he said.
The Bluewings have not been good travellers in AFC Champions League. Their 0-1 loss to Beijing Guoan on Matchday Two was their fourth consecutive away game in the competition without a win.
Suwon Samsung have also yet to score or concede a goal in two previous AFC Champions League visits to Australia after goalless draws against Sydney FC in 2011 and again against the Central Coast Mariners in 2013.
After naming unchanged lineups for the first two AFC Champions League matches, Seo will have to make changes tomorrow night as defender Yang Sang-min is suspended after his red card on Matchday Two and goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong is sidelined with a knee injury.
Tickets to tomorrow’s game are $10 (adults) and $5 (children) and are available through Ticketek.
The ticket price includes free train travel to and from Robina for Brisbane and Logan-based members and fans.
Gold Coast-based fans can also travel free to the game on Surfside bus routes, trains and the G-Link tram.