Official Preview: Brisbane Roar v North Queensland Fury
It’s The Queensland derby! Noise from the stands can help turn Suncorp goal-crazy again
Brisbane Roar v North Queensland Fury Saturday 20th November 8:15pm Suncorp Stadium
It-s The Queensland derby! Noise from the stands can help turn Suncorp goal-crazy again, as the Roar look to tear into struggling Fury.
Roar fans can-t ask for more than their team is offering them at Suncorp Stadium at the moment.
The last time their side took to the field at their home ground, it ended up being one of the finest team performances in Hyundai A-League history. In a massive match-up at the top of the table against Adelaide United, Roar took an early lead but then disaster struck with the sending off of goalscorer Reinaldo. The way to avert disaster?
How about smashing home three goals in the next fifteen minutes and putting the game completely out of sight? Understandably, the partisan crowd of over 13,000 went absolutely nuts, and why not? If you can-t celebrate like crazy when your team is smashing their title rivals 4-0 despite having fewer players on the field than them, then when can you?
Such an amazing night, coupled with the fact that this weekend brings a derby match, will surely mean that another big crowd can be expected on Saturday, and that the atmosphere will be just as fantastic.
Two away games have come and gone for Brisbane since that unforgettable win over The Reds, and, before their midweek trip to Newcastle, they further demonstrated their title credentials with a come-from-behind triumph against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.
After conceding early, they refused to panic, but rather stuck to their game, soaked up the pressure and, as their opponents began to tire, picked them off with an equaliser from Kosta Barbarouses and a late winner from Jean Carlos Solórzano which sent their fans wild and kept daylight between them and their rivals at the top of the table.
North Queensland Fury must surely be dreading their trip to Suncorp. Having lost their three previous matches, they know that defeat will create a new club record for most consecutive losses.
In a season filled with so much uncertainty and turmoil, players, staff and fans are desperate for something to smile about and a stroke of luck to go their way. Fortunes certainly haven-t been on their side of late. After being denied a late, match-saving penalty against Central Coast Mariners, they went down to Melbourne Heart despite putting in a spirited display.
Although Dyron Daal scored, quite extraordinarily, when the ball rebounded off the side of his head and into the net in the 12th minute, the Tropical Green-s luck well and truly ended there. There were calls for offside in the build-up to Eli Babalj-s equaliser.
Then, there was more than a hint of handball about Gerald Sibon-s strike that gave Heart the lead. By the time the third went in, Fury heads were well and truly down, but the strugglers showed good character to make a grandstand finish of it by pulling one back through Ufuk Talay-s twice taken spot kick.
However, even when luck isn-t going your way, there is still little excuse for conceding quite as many goals from set-pieces as North Queensland have this season and their defensive solidity - or lack thereof - won-t be helped by the fact that influential former Togo defender Eric Akoto continues to be sidelined with a medial meniscus injury.
The bad news for the Green Army is that it will be weeks before he returns to help plug the leaks. While Chris Grossman joins him on the sidelines for a few weeks as well, the squad has recently been bolstered by the signing of 19-year old Lorenzo Sipi, who for the past two seasons played for the Hyundai QSL side North Queensland Razorbacks. The versatile youngster can also adopt a central midfield role.
Brisbane might be flying at home at the moment, but there is no room for complacency in this constantly surprising Hyundai A-League season. On paper, a game with a struggling side like Fury may look like an easy three points, but the Greens have been unfortunate on so many occasions lately that, sometime soon, luck will fall their way and someone will get turned over.
And derby matches are a law unto themselves. Anything can happen! So, Roar Fans, Fury fans, turn up in numbers and create the kind of derby atmosphere that will do Queensland proud. This is going to be a big one!