Brisbane impressive in Victory over Adelaide

Brisbane Roar’s fine start to the Isuzu UTE A-League season continued on Sunday afternoon, with an impressive 2-0 victory over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

Jez Lofthouse opened the scoring just after half-time, before a Jay O’Shea penalty wrapped up the victory for Brisbane who are now firmly entrenched in the top four after seven rounds.

It was also their first win over the Reds since January 2021 and first at Hindmarsh since December 2017.

Ross Aloisi’s side have won four of their opening seven games to start the season, continuing a brilliant start to his first reign as a senior head coach in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Brisbane’s win was the fact they did it without a host of key players, losing defensive duo Scott Neville and Antonee Burke-Gilroy to injury in the first-half, while also being without the likes of Henry Hore, Florin Berenguer and Corey Brown.

Meanwhile, Adelaide have lost three of their last four games, but remain inside the top six on goal difference ahead of Melbourne City. In a further blow for the Reds, young attacker Musa Toure was forced off the field with a leg injury late in the contest.

The Reds started strongly and could have taken the lead within the opening minute as Ryan Kitto just put his effort over the bar.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to begin building their way into the contest in the following minutes, with Nikola Mileusnic having a shot saved, before Thomas Waddingham flashed a diving header over the crossbar seconds later.

Adelaide would continue to pile up the shots back the other way, but nothing that really worried Brisbane’s defence, who lost Burke-Gilroy and Neville to injuries only seven minutes apart, meaning Louis Zabala and Kai Trewin were called into action early to replace them.

Roar continued to weather the storm and against the run of the first-half play and had the ball in the back of the net.

O’Shea’s well-weighted free kick found an unmarked Taras Gomulka, who nodded home for seemingly his first A-Leagues goal, but after review from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) it was deemed the midfielder was offside.

Brisbane would find the breakthrough after half-time, after Mileusnic was played through with an acre of space on the right-hand side, before finding an all alone Lofthouse whose shot deflected off Lachlan Barr and left Joe Gauci unable to keep the ball out.

The lead was doubled minutes later when Barr gave away a penalty for a foul on O’Shea, leading to the Irishman burying the resulting spot-kick.

Aloisi’s side could have led by even more, after Mileusnic had two one-one-ones well saved by Gauci.

Cael Veart’s side brought on Musa Toure for a visibly frustrated Nestory Irankunda in search of a spark, along with Hiroshi Ibusuki and Jonny Yull; but Toure’s afternoon ended prematurely after coming from the field with a leg injury in the 81st minute.

Ibusuki almost kickstarted a late fightback when he nodded Zach Clough’s free-kick against the crossbar in the 92nd minute.

Adelaide are looking for answers after a string of inconsistent performances. Carl Veart’s side have only won once in their last five after a blistering start to the season, including two losses at home.

They head on the road to face Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night at CommBank Stadium.

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