Brisbane’s Roar’s stunning 3-0 demolition of La Liga side Villarreal CF may have earned them a place in next season’s LFP World Challenge.
LFP (Liga de Futbol Profesional) president Joe Luis Astiazaran praised the Roar for its on- and off-field excellence and hospitality during a function at half-time of last night’s match at Suncorp Stadium.
“We have very much enjoyed our stay here. You have a beautiful stadium and your team is doing very well (the score was 2-0 at that stage),” Astiazaran said.
“We would definitely love to come back next year.”
The LFP World Challenge involves teams from La Liga playing in countries across the world to spread the message about Spain and its highly admired style of football.
The tournament doesn’t follow a standard knock-out format.
Instead, non-Spanish teams from various continents are invited to participate in the early rounds (Adelaide United received a second invitation this year despite losing 5-1 to Malaga in 2014).
The best-performing sides from matches in 2014,’15 and ’16 then come together for a finals series in 2017.
The Roar put themselves in the box seat for another invitation to participate in the LFP World Challenge thanks to two goals from 19-year-old Devante Clut and one from Costa Rican international Jean Carlos Solorzano.
Villarreal Head Coach Marcelino Garcia Toral described Clut’s unstoppable 40th minute strike from the left as “magnifico.”
Despite the high praise, Clut kept his feet firmly on the ground in speaking to media after the match. He said the two-goal performance was just another step in his bid to learn as much as he could in his breakthrough season.
“My aim is to keep consistent and keep doing what I need to do,” Clut said.
“I felt that myself and the team really showed tonight that we can do what is required of us as a team.”
Clut said his stunning goal helped boost his confidence.
“The more I do it, the more it shows I can do it and that it’s not a fluke,” he said.
Solorzano said getting on the score sheet against quality opposition made his eager for next season in the Hyundai A-League.
“Being the No.9 means creating opportunities and that’s what I’ve been trying to do,” he said through a Spanish-English interpreter.
“I hope next season I can create more chances. When I am given the opportunity, I can show that I am a good player.
“I’m happy here and happy Brisbane has given me this opportunity.”