Roar v Victory promises excitement
The Roar and Victory have engaged in some thrilling contests this season and the stakes will be raised when they face off in Sunday's semi-final at Suncorp.
All three matches between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory throughout the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season were compelling viewing, which augers well for the semi-final clash at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday.
Though the Victory defeated Brisbane early in the season, the Roar responded with two very memorable wins in the two subsequent encounters as they finished the competition with a 10 point lead as Premiers.
Here's a summary of how the three games panned out:
Round 3 | Victory 1 - 0 Roar 25 October 2013
In Ange Postecoglou's final match in charge of the Victory before taking on Socceroos duties, he guided his side to a hard-fought win at Etihad Stadium. James Troisi's well-taken goal 11 minutes after the break was the difference between the teams, with the Victory forced to survive a late Roar onslaught.
The Dark Blues controlled the game for much of the first half, though struggled to create clear-cut chances. Brisbane became more competitive as half-time approached, registering several shots on target, but it was the Victory who went ahead after 56 minutes thanks to Troisi, who outpaced Matt Smith before slotting home.
Thomas Broich began to exert his influence as the match wore on, with the Roar applying plenty of pressure late in the game, but in the end the hosts hung on to give Postecoglou a win in his last match.
It was the home side's first victory of the campaign and Brisbane's first loss, though Mike Mulvey's men were already sitting pretty at the top of the table at that early stage after claiming six points from their first two games.
Round 13 | Victory 0 - 3 Roar 4 January 2014
With Kevin Muscat now calling the shots at the Melbourne club, Brisbane dominated from start to finish at AAMI Park to secure a convincing 3-0 win, in what was perhaps their most impressive overall performance of the season.
Victory keeper Nathan Coe was kept busy all night, with Liam Miller the first to find a way past the gloveman after being set up by Thomas Broich on 28 minutes.
The goal lauded as a goal of the season contender by football purists - before Miller-s finish, Brisbane managed 21 consecutive passes across the park with some clever movement off the ball
The Roar's well-oiled passing machine was operating at maximum capacity throughout the encounter, and there was little their opponents could do to stop two more goals hitting the net in the second term.
Another sublime team goal, finished by Matt McKay, was followed by a third from Dimitri Petratos in the 67th minute to end the game as a contest.
Round 24 | Roar 1 - 0 Victory 22 March 2014
The Suncorp Stadium crowd was sent into raptures when, deep into injury time, Roar midfielder Luke Brattan fired a long-range screamer into the bottom corner of the net to win the match and seal the Premiers- Plate for the Roar with three matches to spare.
In their usual fashion, the Roar had thrown caution to the wind late in the game, pushing men forward in attack rather than sitting back and settling for a draw.
Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas had been outstanding to deny Brisbane on numerous occasions, but he could do nothing to stop Brattan's 25-metre strike, which was all the more impressive for the fact that the wily midfielder had been hampered by a hip injury for much of the match.
Brisbane's midfield engine room of Broich and McKay were in excellent touch, helping the home side maintain over 60 per cent possession over the course of the game, though Muscat's side had done well to resist for so long.
Sunday, 27 April 2014 Hyundai A-League 2014 Semi Final 1 Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Kick-off: 5.00pm local ( AEST)
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