Roar still can’t get much-needed vic­tory

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - VIC­TORY ROAR MATT WINDLEY IN MEL­BOURNE

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

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