Brisbane Roar have suffered a 2-1 defeat against Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon. PHOTOS: Albert Perez
A second-half strike from Brandon Borrello wasn’t enough to recover the deficit as goals either side of half-time to Shane Smeltz and Roy Krishna secured the Phoenix’s second ever victory at Suncorp Stadium.
“Of course we were a little flat but I couldn’t knock the boys’ work rate. We gave everything but just didn’t have enough,” Aloisi said.
“We can’t look at the ladder too much. Our focus is on each individual game.”
The Roar were made to pay for loose defending as an unmarked Shane Smeltz slotted a header into the bottom corner, handing the Phoenix the lead shortly after the half-hour mark.
Brisbane’s creativity was restricted by a tight Phoenix defence who were also content to string together long stints of possession on the ball.
Play was hemmed inside the Roar’s half in the latter stages of the first half and despite late flurries from both sides, the deficit remained at one at the break.
The visitors opened the second stanza full of confidence and threatened on the counter-attack as The Roar were unable to turn convert entry into dangerous areas into goal-scoring opportunities.
Wellington controlled the tempo of the game and an extended period of possession brought about a second goal, ending in a tap in for Roy Krishna’s 10th goal of the season.
The Roar were handed a lifeline when Borrello’s curler found the back of the net with 15 minutes remaining.
Brisbane pushed hard for an equaliser but large numbers behind the ball for the Phoenix saw the visitors hold on for a 2-1 win.
Young players Cameron Crestani and Joe Caletti started for the Roar while fellow Young Roar players Shannon Brady and Kye Rowles played their first minutes of the Hyundai A-League season in the second half. The second-half introduction marked a Hyundai A-League debut for Rowles.
“Kye was good for us tonight. He played a part in our goal and it was good for him to get some minutes after picking up a calf strain from an Australian U20’s camp a month ago,” Aloisi said.
32′: Shane Smeltz is found unmanned at the back post and the experienced striker directs a header across the face of Michael Theo into the bottom corner. 0-1
61′: Roy Krishna finishes off a well-worked play from the Phoenix, tapping in from point-blank range to double the visitors’ lead. 0-2
75′: Joseph Katebian holds off a number of defenders and lays back to Brandon Borrello whose first-time curler leaves Moss rooted to the spot. 1-2
The Roar face a short turnaround ahead of an AFC Champions League Matchday 2 clash away to Ulsan Hyundai on Tuesday night (8:30pm KO) before travelling south to Newcastle to play the Jets on Sunday, 5 March (6pm KO).
Hyundai A-League Round 21, Brisbane Roar FC v Wellington Phoenix FC, Saturday, 25 February at Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane Roar 1 (Borrello 75′)
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Smeltz 32′, Krishna 61′)