Brisbane’s A-League men continued their fine start to the season with an impressive 2-0 victory away at Adelaide on Sunday, making it a happy homecoming for head coach Ross Aloisi.
The Brisbane coach made 76 appearances for the Reds during two spells in the early 2000s, making Sunday’s win particularly poignant for the Adelaide native.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Aloisi’s men at Coopers Stadium though, with the home side dominating the opening 45 minutes.
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Game of two halves
Adelaide would rue not making their first half pressure count – having 14 shots on goal to Brisbane’s 6 – in a game that was somehow still goalless at the break.
Brisbane was hampered by two injuries in the first thirty minutes, with centre back stalwart Scott Neville following left back Antonee Burke-Gilroy down the tunnel early, leaving the Queenslanders to field a makeshift back line for the remainder of the half.
It was a different story in the second period however, with the Roar tearing into the hosts and opening the scoring through Jez Lofthouse in the 48th minute.
Man of the match Jay O’Shea then won a penalty and converted it himself just five minutes later to put Brisbane in command.
It could have been more but for Adelaide keeper Joe Gauci, who made two terrific one-on-one saves from Nikola Mileusnic after the winger’s pace caused havoc in the Reds defence.
Adelaide coach Carl Veart made numerous changes to try stem the tide, but Brisbane ultimately ran out comfortable winners in a game that marked their first back-to-back A-League wins away from home since early 2021.
“Attitude the difference”
Aloisi has guided the Roar to four wins and just one defeat in his opening seven games as head coach, and he was quick to point out the contrast between the two halves in Adelaide.
“It was a difficult first half, and the two injuries didn’t help. A few things were said at half-time – it was attitude that was the main difference. Ultimately, I was proud of the performance,” he said.
The number of goalscoring opportunities the Roar are creating also pleased Aloisi, with his side having now scored 14 goals this season compared to just 6 in their opening seven games last year.
It’s not all coming from one player either, with seven different goalscorers having hit the target for Brisbane this season already.
With influential left winger Carlo Armiento now back in the fold after making a return from injury as a 67th minute substitute yesterday, Brisbane is primed to continue their attacking potency.
‘Aloisi derby’ next up
The Roar continue their travels this coming Friday in Melbourne, with an intriguing match-up against current cellar dwellers, Western United.
It’s a game that will be sure to draw headlines before a ball is kicked, as Ross Aloisi’s younger brother John will be in the opposing dugout, having been at the helm at Western United for the past two seasons.
John Aloisi has had significant success with the Melbourne expansion club, guiding them to the title in 2022, but his side have struggled at the start of this campaign and currently find themselves bottom of the table.
The fact that they also have the leakiest defence in the competition – conceding 16 goals in their opening 7 fixtures – will not be lost on the free-scoring Roar, or his older brother.
The ‘Aloisi Derby’ as it’s been dubbed in the Australian media will be sure to capture the public’s imagination, with the sibling rivalry a fascinating sub-plot to the game.
Both brothers will likely be keen to play down the significance, but what isn’t in question is that Brisbane can go top of the ladder should they take the three points at AAMI park on Friday night.
That should be incentive enough for the older Aloisi, although getting one over on his ex-Socceroo brother would be quietly pleasing too, no doubt.