Roar still can’t get much-needed victory
SEVEN months clearly makes a big difference in the ALeague.
Just hours after last season’s wooden spooner Newcastle moved to the top of the table, Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar clashed at Etihad Stadium in a rematch of the 2016-17 semi-final.
And how the mighty have fallen. While the match exploded to life in the last 20 minutes, with both goals coming late, those in attendance otherwise endured a drab encounter that was indicative of where both of these teams sit after six rounds. Still winless.
Besart Berisha looked for all money that he had once again netted the winner against his old side, scoring in the 79th minute after being teed up by the brilliant Leroy George.
The goal came on the back of Victory’s 10 best minutes of football for the night and the hosts appeared to have all the momentum. Enter Brett Hol- man, who came off the bench in the 65th minute, looked bright and then scored the equaliser in the 84th to earn his side a point.
Both sides have excuses. Both were hideously undermanned – Victory, mainly due to international withdrawals, the Roar through injury.
“I thought we were brilliant,” Roar coach John Aloisi said.
“Considering the circumstances and due to our start to the season – how many players we’ve got out, I must have walked under a ladder or something. They’re injuries you can’t prevent because they’re knocks. We seem to be getting them.
“With Dane Ingham away with New Zealand we ended up having about 12 contracted players out.
“But the players didn’t look for an excuse, they went out there and performed really well.
“We didn’t get our first win, but that was like a win because of the way the boys fought and never stopped.” MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (B Berisha 79m) drew BRISBANE ROAR 1 (B Holman 84m) at Etihad Stadium. TUMBLE: The Roar’s Petros Skapetis (left) fouls Melbourne opponent Stefan Nigro last night. Picture: AAP