Roar’s Cup shame
BRISBANE Roar insist they treat the FFA Cup as more than glorified trial games despite their pedestrian display against a rampant Melbourne Victory.
The Victory’s 5- 1 thrashing of the Roar at Perry Park on Wednesday night continued Brisbane’s dismal Cup record.
For three years straight the Roar have been eliminated at the round- of- 32 stage and have reached the last 16 just once.
While the Victory fielded a near full- strength side, including the likes of star striker Besart Berisha, Socceroos pair Mark Milligan and James Troisi, ex- Middlesbrough man Rhys Williams and Kiwi international Kosta Barbarouses, the Roar 11 had an inexperienced feel.
Fringe trio Dane Ingham, Shannon Brady and Nick D’Agostino all started, and regular midfielder Thomas Kristensen was deployed unsuccessfully in defence.
Roar coach John Aloisi elected not to use two of his first- choice centre- backs in Luke DeVere and Avraam Papadopoulos.
Marquee man Massimo Maccarone came on with half an hour left with the Vic- tory leading 4- 0, while other off- season signings Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Corey Gameiro did not play due to fitness concerns.
While it wasn’t a surprise the Roar lost, the scoreline was embarrassing.
Roar football director Craig Moore yesterday said Aloisi had a “sleepless night” as he went over the match video.
“We’re all disappointed,” Moore said.
“It’s still early in the preseason but there’s no doubt they had the edge on us.”
There’s no doubt the Roar’s reluctance to field full- strength teams in the Cup’s four- year existence has cost them, but Moore is adamant his club takes the competition seriously.
“We’ve been knocked out first up three years in a row, which doesn’t look good, but we don’t use the Cup as an experiment,” Moore said.
“We just can’t afford to take risks with players that aren’t quite there yet in terms of their fitness.”
Moore said the Roar were not about to abandon their new 3- 4- 2- 1 formation, despite it having left them ex- posed in defence Wednesday night.
“The plan this season is to have two systems that we can use at different times depending on who we are playing and what suits us,” he said.
The Roar are back in action next Friday in a behindclosed- doors trial against Western Sydney at Robina.
They will also again meet the Victory on September 1 in a friendly at Ballarat.
Moore hopes to secure a match this month on the Gold Coast against the visiting Chinese Olympic team.
In an all- NPL Queensland FFA Cup round- of- 16 clash, Moreton Bay United will host Gold Coast City. on
EMBARRASSING: Corey Brown of the Roar and Jason Geria of the Victory challenge for the ball during the FFA Cup round of 32 match at Perry Park in Brisbane.