A shattered John Aloisi admits Brisbane Roar’s heart-breaking semi final defeat to the Wanderers is hard to take and defended his decision not to try and close the game down at 3-0 up.
Roar stunned most inside Piretk Stadium on Sunday as they flew out to a three goal lead by the midway point of the first-half through goals to Dimitri Petratos, Jamie Maclaren and an Andreu own goal.
But they couldn’t withstand an incredible fightback from the home side, who eventually booked their spot in next Sunday’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final with a 5-4 triumph after extra-time.
Asked why his side couldn’t close the game out with such a big lead, Aloisi said: “We haven’t got the players to shut-up shop.
“That’s not something we can do. We can’t do that, or else I would buy players to shut-up shop and defend.
“We’re an open, attacking team. That’s the way we want to play, that’s the way we believe we should win football games.
“We should have dealt with the longer ball better. Shut-up shop, that’s not my style, that’s not our style and it will never be Brisbane Roar’s style while I’m there.”
Aloisi felt the Wanderers’ first goal – a powerful Romeo Castelen free-kick – was the turning point of the match.
He said it’s a hollow feeling to end the season one game short of the decider, especially after being at the head of the competition for much of the campaign.
“It’s probably the season that got away. We had opportunity to win something a few weeks ago as well as also to get to a grand final tonight,” Aloisi lamented.
“It wasn’t meant to be. But the young boys will learn from the experience and we do have a lot of young boys.
“Jamie Maclaren, it’s his first full season, Brandon Borrello, Dimitri Petratos, Jack Hingert, Corey Brown, James Donachie. It’s a young group that we’ve got mixed in with a few older players and they’ll, they’ll learn from this.
“It’s hard to take now but I’m proud of the way they kept going until the end, I’m proud of their season and we’ll look to improve for next season to hopefully win something.”
While disappointed with how the season ended, it’s been a remarkable campaign for Brisbane and Aloisi, who walked into a club that faced an uncertain future and was struggling off the pitch.
“We know how far we’ve come with such a young squad and also experienced players who people were writing off,” the Roar boss said.
“People were writing Jade North off, people were writing Thomas Broich off and they had good seasons.
“All in all there was one point between us and top [Adelaide United] and we could have won it on the last day, there was two goals between us and Wanderers in terms of the whole season as we finished on equal points.
“We’re upset that we didn’t win but in terms of our season, we’ve had a decent season."