An underwhelming night at the office for the Brisbane Roar didn’t mark the ideal start for their 2022/23 A-League Men campaign.
Calamitous at the back last season with the third worst defence in the league, the Roar looked more organised against the Bulls, managing to keep a clean sheet. Ultimately though, their end product up forward left a lot to be desired.
Coming into the game looking to bounce back from a poor 2021/22 season and without a win in the opening round since 2015, the Roar were eager to buck the trend, but they leave Suncorp Stadium with the record still in hand.
Boasting the majority of the possession, they also had an extra six shots on goal, though only one of their 13 shots on goal were on target. With 10 coming inside the box, the Roar threatened the score throughout the game and would be ruining missed chances.
Warren Moon’s men lined up with their marquee man and former Premier League striker Charlie Austin and Japanese hero of the 2020/21 campaign Riku Danzaki up top. While Austin had his moments, Danzaki had a quiet night out.
Speaking post-game, Austin touched on his side’s effort, with the Englishman able to find some positives out of his side’s opening performance of the year.
“We battered them, battered them in the first half and in the second half,” the striker said.
“They could of scored in the first half off our own mistake, [Macarthur] keeper makes a good save from me… we were the better side overall.
“Disappointing not to come away with the three points but you look at the bigger picture. I don’t care what anyone says about the Brisbane Roar or what’s happened over the last year, we showed today we’re in for the fight and put in a great performance.
“I look at it overall, our performance today shows [a lot of improvement since last season], massive credit to us, the manager, the players, it was [something] everyone’s got to look forward to.”
Austin would be involved in the Roar’s biggest chances of the game, first of which would come in the early stages.
Spotting up Carlo Armiento at the far post near goal, Austin would get on to it and play it across goal to Joseph Knowles, though he would be unable to finish off the 32-year-old’s clever work, with his shot finding the side netting.
He’d then go close to breaking the deadlock in the second half with his header denied by Marcarthur shot-stopper Filip Kurto.
It would be the story of the Roar’s night, creating opportunities, but unable to find the go-ahead goal.
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Brisbane’s head coach felt the same sentiment. Speaking post game, Moon was encouraged by his team’s performance, though admitted they weren’t clinical pushing forward.
“I look at this as a positive start to the season I guess, strong defensive performance, strong on the ball, created plenty of chances,” Moon said.
“Just not quite there tonight in the final pass, final touch, final shot. It was close but in the end, I think we just got to take the point and use it as a building block now for the next game and moving forward.”
In a side filled with new faces, Armiento was a positive for the Roar, who was impressive in his first league appearance since coming across from the Perth Glory. Having missed the entirety of last season with an ACL injury season, the 23-year-old showed promising signs in his first game back.
Coming off after 64 minutes being replaced by Jordan Courtney-Perkins, he put in a solid display with his ball distribution and dribbling in the wide areas.
His coach was pleased with the early signs of promise he showed, claiming he’s a type of player the team has been missing.
“I think it was there for all to see, he’s that attacking left-sided player we’ve been looking for and he showed his quality going forward today,” Moon said.
“I thought he was a real threat and created plenty of chances for our players.
“He will only get better, he’s going to last around 60 minutes given that he’s come back late into pre-season when he was at Perth before he joined us. Really pleased with what he contributed tonight.”
Moon also added that he believes Armiento will complement their marquee man Austin going forward this season.
“Carlo has great delivery and Charlie [Austin] needs service, and I think that’s the key for us,” the coach continued.
“If we’re going to bring someone like Charlie out here we need to play to his strengths as well, the plan was always to bring in someone like Carlo.
“Obviously we’d have liked him a bit sooner than we got him but these things don’t always work out that way. But since he’s come in we can see now we’ve got a threat on both sides, and we’ve got plenty of attacking options now down the left and down the right.”
Brisbane Roar will be hoping to take all three points next week when they take on Melbourne City on October 14 at Suncorp Stadium.
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