Roar's Olyroos continue strike force combination

Brisbane Roar have been reminded of the firepower they will be lacking next month when Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren depart for Olyroos duty.

Borrello - back in the Roar's squad for the first time in three matches - scored his team's second goal in their 3-1 win over Melbourne City on Sunday, taking his tally to five goals this season.

The Roar took a two-goal advantage into half-time after Patrick Kisnorbo's own goal and Borrello's effort, and despite Bruno Fornaroli pulling a goal back in the second period, Brisbane held on for victory.

Henrique added a third goal with almost the last kick of the match, scoring from just inside the Roar's attacking half after City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen had gone up for a corner.

MATCH REPORT: Brisbane bank three points against City

The win was second-placed Brisbane's third in a row and ensured they ended the weekend just two points adrift of leaders Western Sydney Wanderers.

Melbourne Victory may be set to lose five players when the Olyroos head to Qatar for the AFC U-23 Championship - Rio 2016's qualifying tournament - but the Roar can justifiably argue they will be the hardest hit of any A-League club.

Few other sides will miss such important individuals as John Aloisi's side, with fringe defender James Donachie also selected.

Roar marquee Thomas Broich embraces strike pairing Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren.

Borrello (5 goals, 1 assist) and Maclaren (6 goals, 2 assists) are the only two Brisbane players to sit in the A-League's top 20 for goals, and have had a direct involvement in 13 of the Roar's 20 goals this season.

The Olyroos will undertake a seven-day training camp before their opening match in Qatar against United Arab Emirates on January 14, meaning the A-League players will miss a minimum of two matches.

Borrello and Maclaren will at least miss Brisbane's trips to Wellington Phoenix and Victory next month.

If Australia reaches the tournament's final on January 30, they would also be unavailable for games against Adelaide United and Sydney FC.

Again on Sunday, Borrello and Maclaren were heavily involved in the majority of the Roar's best attacks.

Borrello got on the scoresheet in the 40th minute - expertly found by Dimitri Petratos - and the 20-year-old's side-footed shot was too strong for Sorensen, who could only palm the ball into the net.

It was Borrello, who also kick-started the move for Brisbane's opening goal.

Shane Stefanutto

Despite the fact the Roar won both matches when Aloisi left out Borrello, the young striker's impact against City underlined the strangeness of that decision.

Asked about why he was left out over the past fortnight, Borrello claimed he had been called on to "reflect" on his performances.

"The boss [Aloisi] set me aside and we talked about it - it was just a confidence thing," he told Fox Sports.

"He said to me that when he was younger and he felt if he lost a bit of confidence the boss would sit him out, and we've done that.

"I've regained confidence and I've trained hard, I haven't put my head down and, you know, I've reaped the rewards. It feels great and I just want to keep on going."

For all Brisbane's fine play and dominance of the ball, they do not score enough goals.

Ahead of Round 12, the Roar had made the most passes of any club with 5490 and had the best passing accuracy (80 per cent).

Against Wellington Phoenix, the Roar won 2-1 but took far more shots (16-9), while in last week's 1-0 triumph at Central Coast Mariners they also had more opportunities (11-8).

Before Round 12, Brisbane sat eighth in the A-League for shooting accuracy with 44.1 per cent of efforts on target, while they were sixth for total shots (102).

Simply put, the Roar need to shoot more and shoot better.

It brings into stark focus why they will miss Maclaren, who topped the competition for shots heading into the Christmas weekend.

Aloisi should be concerned about where goals will come from for his team when his young forwards leave on international duty.

Brisbane will need much more from the likes of Henrique (3 goals), Thomas Broich and Jean Carlos Solorzano (both 0).

Henrique may have scored late in the match but his decision-making in the final third seemed slightly off after he replaced Borrello in the 65th minute.

In stoppage time at Suncorp Stadium, the Brazilian and fellow substitute forward Solorzano conspired to ruin a counter-attack when they only had one defender to beat.


The Roar dominated the first half against City and could have led by more at the interval.

Sorensen continued his unbelievable form from the Melbourne derby, thwarting Broich on two occasions in the opening 20 minutes.

The concern for Aloisi is that but for the crossbar, Robi Koren could have equalised for the visitors late in the match.

Questions remain whether the Roar have the cutting edge without Maclaren and Borrello to challenge for silverware this term.