Roar secure home final despite home loss to Sydney
Sydney FC has downed the Brisbane Roar 2-0 away from home to solidify second on the table.
Sydney knocked on the door early, hitting the post in the 10th minute, before taking the lead in the 16th minute when Kosta Barbarouses caught the Brisbane defence napping, finishing past Jamie Young.
A ball over the top in the 33rd minute once again found the feet of Barbarouses. It was a similar position to when he scored, but he blundered his chance this time.
Brisbane flicked the switch in the second half, though, dominating possession and putting pressure on the Sydney defence, putting 14 balls into the penalty area by the 75th minute.
Joey Champness had the best chance to draw level for the home side, but the outstretched palm of Tom Heward-Belle kept the score at 1-0.
Harry Van Der Saag added the final dagger in the hearts of the Roar fans when he added Sydney’s second of the game in the 95th minute, despite the Sky Blues being up against it for much of the second period.
Anthony Caceres in action for the Sky Blues during the 2-0 win. (Sydney FC)
Steve Corica’s side found space behind with balls over the top, exploiting the 3-4-2-1 system Brisbane’s Warren Moon uses. The room behind the lines, and more notably out wide, cost the home side, with Sydney finding the opener directly from a wide through ball played over the top.
Sydney’s ability to resist pressure
Brisbane totalled 31 shots with six on target, but the Sydney defence stood tall, keeping a clean sheet despite having less of the ball in the second half. They might have faced a high number of shots, but the work rate of the back four was undoubtedly the reason Corica’s men were able to secure three points.
A Tale of Two Halves
Sydney flew out of the blocks in the first half but failed to keep the work rate up in the second. The Sky Blues primarily found success in the first half through the high work rate of the front two, who pounced on the mistakes of the Brisbane backline. However, Brisbane was the dangerous team in the second half, and they also found success through a higher work rate from their midfielders, winning the ball back in transition moments.