On what looked set to be a gloomy rain soaked game, the heavens stayed closed as the Qld roar stormed the Brisbane cauldron for their opening round of the 2007 A-league season. With an eager crowd of almost 17,000 prepared to brave the elements, the roar brought forth a dominant attacking display right from the first blow of the whistle.
The roar fielding a predominant 4-4-2 style formation, repetitively attacked the Adelaide goal early on without any success. The Roar's exciting new Brazilian signing Marcinho almost scored on debut, with what seemed to be an open header at the edge of the 6 yard box just grazing wide. Roar continued to dominate the play early on especially through the dominant work load of both Massimo Murdocha and Marcinho through the middle of the park.
Adelaide in turn played a tightly formed if lack luster game (Ed: Boring, Boring Adelaide). Only some sloppy defending by the experienced roar defence allowed Adelaide's Nathan Burns to squeeze off a firing shot to take the early lead.
However Roar drew even just prior to half time through midfielder Matt McKay, who's drilled shot deflected off an Adelaide defender and steered itself into the corner of the goal, leaving the Adelaide keeper helpless (Ed: dodgy Keeper!).
With the halftime score line at 1-1, the roar re-entered the field for the second half looking to make an early breakthrough and gain the lead. This however proved not to be, as the roar defence once again proved fallible, leaking another goal in the opening minute of the second half.
Poor man marking by the Qld defence allowed the Adelaide striker to sneak through and post a diving header past roar keeper Liam Reddy, caught flat footed in the mud on his goal line. (Ed: there's only one Tommy Willis...)
Things looked to be heading from bad to worse for the roar as their newly appointed captain Craig Moore, was sent from the field with his second "bookable" offence in the 68th minute. Moore appeared to have tackled Nathan Burns cleanly by contacting the ball first, however Referee Ben Williams saw it differently and showed Moore his second yellow card, resulting in the appearance of the red.
Moore erupted and approached the Adelaide striker Burns to let him know how he felt about the decision.
Subsiquently were reduced to 10 men, Roar continued to battle strongly, with Reinaldo dropping to a slightly more defensive role. New substitutions with fresh legs proved useful to the roar comeback with youngster Michael Zulo proving to be a very handy addition replacing the exhausted Murdocha. Roar continued to fight towards goal when finally in the 76th minute, roar giant Sasha Ognenovski tied the score with a powerful header.
Roar continued to search for goals to the final whistle as they in total amassed 27 attempts on goal compared to Adelaide's 10.
The final score line of 2 -2 was quite indicative of the game and Queensland will be happy enough with the 1 point result. The roar executed an abundance of attacking plays largely lead by the vision and tactical skill of Marcinho.
Massimo Murdocha continued his exellent form from last season, with a brilliant display of athleticism and skill, working hand in hand with Marchinho and Matt Mckay to form a very strong midfield.
The wise and highly experienced defensive line of the roar proved dominant and patient par for their two notable lapses in concentration leading to the 2 Adelaide goals.
Danny Tiatto was a stand out at left wing back and the 34year old A-league rookie was my personal choice for man of the match. His presence was dominant and hard yet skilful and ever present, rarely being caught out of place.
The only negative to an overall well rounded performance by the Roar would have to be the poor execution by the Qld strikers. Starting attackers Ante Milicic and Reinaldo squandered many opportunities as did Simon Lynch when introduced. The upside however, is that many a chance was created and unlike previous seasons, the strike force of roar seemed goal hungry and willing to take shot opportunities.
If the first game of the season is anything to go by, then the 2007 season definitely looks promising for the new look Queensland Roar.
- The Hoops