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10-man Roar survive late Reds charge

Things got heated in the first half.
Things got heated in the first half.

ROAR coach John Aloisi got the gutsy response he demanded as Brisbane overcame the dismissal of captain Matt McKay to beat Adelaide United 2-1 at Coopers Stadium.

The 10-man Roar defended desperately as they held on for just their third win of the season.

First-half goals to imports Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Massimo Maccarone seemingly had a depleted Brisbane comfortably on course for a much-needed three points

However, a brain snap from McKay in first-half stoppage time ensured a backs-to-the-wall effort would be required if the visitors were to prevail.

John Aloisi was a happy man after the win.
John Aloisi was a happy man after the win.

Initially shown a yellow card by referee Adam Fielding, McKay's punishment for needlessly and dangerously lashing out with his boot at Reds attacker Nikola Mileusnic was upgraded to a red card via intervention from video assistant referee Craig Zetter.

Adelaide attempted to make the most of their numerical advantage, with only the woodwork saving the Roar in the 62nd minute when Reds substitute Michael Marrone unleashed with a ferocious shot that smashed into the crossbar.

Seven minutes later Adelaide's did get themselves back into contest with a simple tap-in from striker George Blackwood after a goal-bound shot from Mileusnic was only partially cleared by the Brisbane defence.

However, the stoic Roar weren't to be denied, with a host of players, including central defenders Jacob Pepper and Luke DeVere, standing tall to snap Brisbane's two-game losing streak.

"I said at halftime 'let's show everyone Brisbane Roar's character'," Aloisi said.

"This was special because everything was going against us. The boys didn't let that put them down, with the red card just before halftime, they made sure that they picked themselves up and got on with it.

"I can't be prouder of the boys … being able to put in a performance like that. Defensively in the second half, not only the back four but the whole team, were outstanding."

Aloisi, who was shown a yellow card for dissent, was reluctant to discuss McKay's send off and the VAR's intervention.

 

Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Thomas Kristensen celebrate the Roar’s opening goal.
Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Thomas Kristensen celebrate the Roar’s opening goal.

 

"I don't want to get into it too much because the VAR's been a talking point every week, so I just want to try to focus on the positive result we've had (and) the character that our boys have shown," he said.

"It seems like every week you're talking about something that's not related to the game. It's related to something that's been brought in that they still don't know 100 per cent what they're doing."

Earlier, the Roar took the lead against the run of play in the 33rd minute through man-of-the-match Ben Khalfallah.

Pouncing on an error from Adelaide captain Isaias, the former Tunisia international rounded goalkeeper Paul Izzo before finding the back of the net.

Brisbane doubled their advantage on the stroke of halftime when Ben Khalfallah outmuscled Adelaide midfielder Nathan Konstandopoulos before delivering an exquisite pass to teammate Maccarone.

The veteran Italian marksman showed great poise and class to chip the ball over an advancing Izzo in scoring his seventh goal of the season.

Topics:  adelaide united a-league 2017 brisbane roar matt mckay


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