Friday night football and the Roar were hosting Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane setting out to bring some joy to their fans after their poor season, while the visitors were out to keep closing the gap on league leaders Perth and secure their second spot with Melbourne Victory on their heels in third spot.
It was also Ninkovic’s 100th game and is only the 8th player to reach this milestone for Sydney FC.
It didn’t take the visitors long to get on the scoreboard 40 seconds in and Sydney scored through a free kick. With Calver pouncing on the ball being left on his own in the box, capitalising with a fantastic header!
Babalj a min later took a header from Leck’s cross to try draw the hosts level but it was sent over the crossbar.
The 4th min saw Brisbane with a free kick but Bautheac sent it flying over the crossbar.
Roar were starting to get into the game slowly, but it looked like their defence was a bit shaky as has been the case all season.
It didn’t take long for Bautheac to vent his frustration toward his teammates, leaving us questioning what triggered the reaction.
Luckily it wasn’t directed at the ref as it would’ve been a card.
The 31st minute saw Alex Brosque almost score an impossible goal from a Zullo cross off his back foot which flew toward goal but was just wide of the far post.
Sydney were starting to boss the midfield, even if they weren’t particularly full of pace.
O’Neill got a shot away in the 33rd from outside the area but not enough to trouble Brisbane’s Jamie Young.
Sydney just a little sluggish compared to what you’d expect. Allowing the Roar to regroup and set up in preparation for Sydney FC pressure in their half.
It was much of the same for the rest of the second half and the score line remained 1-0 for the visitors heading into the sheds at half time.
The second half saw Sydney chasing a second and as was the case in the first half, full of possession but a lot of it in the midfield.
The Roar for now were keeping fairly structured and seemed to be concentrating on not conceding a second.
Brosque tried to find the back of the net in the 62nd off a Ninkovic ball but Jamie Young was there to make the save, diving to stop the low ball.
In the meantime, Le Fondre was claiming he was caught in the box in the 64th minute but was given the all clear, no penalty.
The 67th minute saw D’Agostino send in a beautiful cross to the back post which was pounced on by Eric Beautheac. Fantastic assist for Nick who had just been substituted off the bench a minute prior, continuing the fantastic performance he has on Olyroo duty for his club.
For those wanting to Brisbane to get the job done (myself included) had to shake their heads when a sloppy defence from the Roar, had Le Fondre pouncing on a rebound off the post in the 77th. It was a great follow up from Siem de Jong’s effort which richocheted off the post, with Le Fondre in the right place at the right time.
At this point I was sending all the positive vibes I could to those in Brisbane colours, firstly as a diehard Victory supporter anytime Sydney do not win is a good day. Secondly, the Brisbane fans deserve a little bit of joy but it was not to be.
The 89th minute saw the ball looking like it was going to roll out of play, but Siem de Jong took possession luring Young off the line assuming he was going to cross. But no, Siem chose to hit it an angle that surely required a compass to measure just how tight it was. The ball curled beautifully across and hit the back of the net.
3-1 for the visitors and it was game over for the Roar.
To be fair to the hosts I don’t think they played as terribly as they have in the past, it was flashes of brilliance and the talent of Sydney’s attack that were just too good.
By Jakline Manevski