Brisbane Roar's AFC Asian Champions League campaign has started with a tough 2-0 loss to FC Tokyo in wet and windy conditions at Brisbane Stadium.
Brisbane Roar's AFC Asian Champions League campaign has started with a tough 2-0 loss to FC Tokyo in wet and windy conditions at Brisbane Stadium .
The Roar showed their typical desire for the contest, but were outplayed by the faster, sharper J-League side, and were powerless to stop goals on either side of the break.
Tokyo's first-half dominance paid dividends right on the break, as Tokunaga Yuhei took a deflection down the right flank and whipped in the perfect cross for in-rushing Yazawa Tatsuya to slot past Michael Theoklitos.
The visitors' second goal came to new signing Hasegawa Ariajasuru in the 55th minute, with the midfielder presented the simplest of finishes after Theoklitos was forced to parry away a curling right-footer from Hanyu Naotake.
Brisbane's next chance to impress in the ACL will come in China on the 20th of March against another formidable opponent in Beijing Guoan.
Still days out from starting the J-League season, the performance from FC Tokyo in their first ever ACL match was professional and clinical, and marked the side as competition contenders.
After two near untouchable Hyundai A-League seasons, the Roar's reality check came within the first 15 minutes, as Tokyo took a share of possession and control rarely achieved by Australian opponents.
Brisbane, who will have to regroup to play Adelaide United in their third game in nine days on Sunday, were a more competitive unit in the second 45, benefitting from better field position as Tokyo sat comfortably on their lead.
Watanabe Kazuma registered the first shot of the match with a short snap from within the area in the fourth minute, before Yazawa went even closer, straightening up and letting fly in the 10th minute as the defence showed hesitance against a three on two advantage.
Brisbane's best chance of the half came in the 36th minute, when a curling Thomas Broich cross drew the visiting keeper Shuichi Gonda ineffectually out of position, giving the Roar an open goal had there been an attacker in position to capitalise with the head.
Besart Berisha broke from a quiet first 45 with a strong start to the second, taking a pass from Broich, holding up play strongly with back to goal and laying off for Henrique to register the first attempt of the stanza.
Shane Stefanutto resorted to using his hands to stop an FC attack in the 72nd minute, as Brisbane's desperation continued to mount in unison with the clock.
Second-half substitute Kofi Danning had a lively contribution to the final half hour, achieving penetration with his blistering pace, but failing to find the right final touch.
Bahraini back Mohamed Adnan had the chance for a consolation goal late, climbing onto a Broich cross, only to steer his header high and wide.
Brisbane Roar: 0 FC Tokyo: 2 (Yazawa 45, Hasegawa 54) Crowd: 12037 at Suncorp Stadium