Brisbane Roar’s Hyundai A-League Championship defence is over after a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to Adelaide United in the competition’s first Elimination Final at Adelaide Oval tonight.
The three-time Champions had clawed back to 1-1 after conceding an early goal, but the Adelaide winner came just three minutes from time when the Roar was dominating the match.
The Reds counter-attacked after a Roar corner and surged into the Brisbane half. Miguel Palanca’s clever work set up substitute Awer Mabil, whose shot from the six-yard box was parried by Roar keeper Jamie Young but the momentum carried the ball across the line for the winner.
It was unfortunate end for Young, who had been outstanding throughout the game and had saved his side several times.
Young made a brilliant one-handed save off a Craig Goodwin free-kick just seconds before half-time to keep the scores level then made another key save off Goodwin in the 75th minute. He then denied a third attempt by the same player in the 85th minute.
In between those saves was a superb left-hand save in the 80th minute off a powerful shot by Sergio Cirio.
Young admitted it was a disappointing end to a match the Roar could have won.
“You can only hold your chin up, keep your head up and get on with it.” Young said alluding to the Roar’s Tuesday’s AFC Champions League clash with Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds on the Gold Coast which Brisbane must win to advance to the Round of 16.
“We will have to put this aside and get on with the next game,” Young said.
Roar interim Head Coach Frans Thijssen said his team had battled well but was punished for a late mistake.
“We had chances in this game. In the end we gave it away,” he said.
Despite playing away from their home ground Coopers Stadium, it took just seven minutes for Adelaide winger Goodwin to open the scoring for the Reds at the unfamiliar Adelaide Oval with a spectacular free-kick from 20m.
Goodwin curled and dipped his shot over the Roar wall into the top left corner of the goal.
The brave Roar continued to fight and got back on level terms 20 minutes later.
Roar’s international marquee Thomas Broich robbed Reds defender Dylan McGowan of possession and dribbled into the penalty box.
The German, who again revelled in the pressure of Finals football and was among the Roar’s best, expertly slotted his left-foot shot across Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic to level the scores.
Broich had warned the Roar could not sit back and absorb pressure and his team pushed for a winner late in the game.
In the 82nd minute, captain Matt McKay passed to Jean Carlos Solorzano who squared to Andrija Kaluderovic. His shot bounced over Galekovic but the Adelaide keeper was able to grab the loose ball as it rolled towards the line.
The attacking spirit ultimately proved costly for the Roar, who were caught on the counter just as it seemed they were close to clinching a winner.
Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Elimination Final 1
Friday, 1 May at Adelaide Oval. Crowd: 20,155
Adelaide United 2 (Goodwin 7′, Mabel 87′)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Broich 27′)Half-time: 1-1
Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.Pablo SÁNCHEZ (19.Miguel PALANCA 74′), 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (17. Awer MABIL 70′), 16.Craig GOODWIN (14.Cameron WATSON 89′), 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 21.Tarek ELRICH.
Substitutes not used: 20 Paul IZZO (gk), 24.Bruce KAMAU.
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 21. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 2. Jerome POLENZ, 5. Corey BROWN, 9. ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 14. Daniel BOWLES, 15. James DONACHIE, 16. Devante CLUT (12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 74′), 17. Matt McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 22. Thomas BROICH, 28. Brandon BORRELLO (65′).
Substitutes not used: 8. Steven LUSTICA, 19. Jack HINGERT, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS 36. Fraser CHALMERS (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Peter Green. Assistant Referees: Matthew Cream, Anton Shchetinin. Fourth Official: Strebre Delovski