After an entertaining women’s game and a goal fest in WU v CCM, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City stepped up to the Sunday night slot to ensure everyone was rested before work on Monday. Snooze fest Sunday nights should be the new marketing pitch.
City’s form in the last 5 games was slipping, losing to Adelaide and the Nix with only a thin win over Victory as their saving grace. Brisbane on the other hand had found some form and were clawing their way back into top 6. It was surprising to me that we (Brisbane, not WSW) were causing havoc for these teams, but never mind folks, because the Brexit boys were back, and Fowler football was here to reward Jamieson’s 250th game.
From the outset, Brisbane seemed to lag in pace with Luna, Noone and Maclaren (to an extent) causing Brown, Neville, and Hingert to exhaust themselves early in the game. In addition, we were questioning the starting 11 as Fowler again stuck with the old boys instead of giving the youth a chance to run around.
It is putting it nicely to say this was a game of ‘few clear-cut chances’ when Melbourne had the better chances but didn’t really bother (???) and Brisbane really did not take many chances. Only 5 shots on target for City and only 2 (!!!) for Brisbane might not seem like a horrific stat if you were just reading the match reviews this morning. But if you had to stand in AAMI Park as the wind picked up and you faced the threat of rain, you might not agree that it was just a tough game of a ‘few clear-cut chances’.
Brisbane felt wobbly at the back with a few keeper passes having us worried we were going to be down 1-0 within 5 minutes. Thankfully we found our feet and Young was, as always, Brisbane’s saviour. A Griffith’s header looked certain to go in if it wasn’t for the acrobatic save Young pulled off to tap it away from the top right hand corner. Luna’s low but powerful free kick was then also well saved.
Though we love to cheer how Young is our human wall, it is hard to see how Brisbane are going to continue climbing into the finals round if we aren’t cheering for our forward or strikers. Cue the cheers for DWH, Muratovic, and literally anyone else to come on after the half-time break. Cue Fowler pretending he can’t hear us.
0-0 we go into the second half and not much has changed – City are pressing forward, Brisbane are struggling to pass the half-way line and a then a Brilliante strike gives everyone in the free maccas tickets area a show. Bittersweet for probably both sides, the goal was chalked up as an own-goal to Young as it hit the post, bounced into Young’s back and into the goal. City 1. Brisbane 0.
Brisbane’s luck then went from bad to worse when FOWLER FINALLY MADE A SUBSTITUION only for Amadi-Holloway to taken off due to an injury. That ankle twist looked about as awful as the whole game. Muratovic and DWH were then brought on but their spark was to arrive too late in the game. Brisbane can’t keep relying on the winners after the 70th minute and City knew this. They fortified their back line and then toyed with us in the dying minutes making substitution after substitution. Good luck getting an 85th minute scrappy goal in when Mombaerts just keeps putting body after body in.
Bringing on Delbridge might have been a mistake for City though as for the few minutes he was on, he was out-played by Brisbane and though it was a hilarious finish, the result remain unchanged and City kept their bragging rights. At the risk of rousing the ire of certain twitter accounts, it has become painful to watch this Brisbane team. It is fine for us to lose, that is not what upsets me. What upsets me is that we lose like that. What even was that? Are we sure we played 90 minutes because I’m not. The Fowler experiment is starting to wear me thin and Brisbane now go on to face WSW who are literally fighting their way into 6th spot. If Brisbane continue to play this sort of no-mans-land football, then no amount of scrappy goals, last minute draws, or ‘but we played better’ is going to wake me up from my nap. Really looking forward to our next away (my home) match against Victory, again on a Sunday night zzzzzzz.