Brisbane star’s free-kick salvages draw in entertaining clash with Macarthur

Catch the highlights as Macarthur FC took on Brisbane Roar in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Jay O’Shea has salvaged a point for Brisbane Roar on Ross Aloisi’s Isuzu UTE A-League coaching debut, scoring a late free-kick in their 1-1 draw with Macarthur FC.

Raphael Borges Rodrigues thought he had the winner for the Bulls, when his header gave Macarthur the lead shortly after half-time on Saturday.

However, veteran midfielder O’Shea equalised via a 73rd-minute set-piece to ensure the spoils would be shared in the opening-round clash at Campbelltown Stadium.

Both sides had plenty of chances to come away with the three points, as the Bulls were denied by desperate clearances and some great saves from Roar keeper Macklin Freke, while Brisbane hit the woodwork three times.

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It means Aloisi will have to wait another week for his first Isuzu UTE A-League victory as Roar boss, but a draw, is certainly better than no points at all.

Macarthur almost took the lead within the opening 80 seconds of the contest, when Kearyn Baccus was denied by Freke, then defender Jack Hingert on his second effort.

Brisbane – who came into the contest with plenty of momentum following their brilliant run to the Australia Cup final – worked their way into the contest, and twice tested the Bulls defence.

O’Shea’s free-kick was saved onto the bar by Bulls keeper Filip Kurto, before moments later Louis Zabala’s scuffed shot was helped towards goal by new signing Florin Berenguer, who was denied by the post.

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Both sides continued to trade blows in an entertaining first-half, with Macarthur responding via Ulises Davila and Jed Drew – who both came close to finding the breakthrough just before half-time.

Mile Sterjovski’s side started the stronger after the break, with only a desperate Tom Aldred standing in the way of Borges Rodrigues finding the opener, making a goal-saving clearance before Borges Rodrigues could tap home.

Minutes later, the Bulls would get reward for effort. Drew was once again denied by Freke, but Macarthur locked the ball inside their attacking half, with the ball coming out to Clayton Lewis and his telling ball nodded home by Borges Rodrigues.

The visitors responded quickly, hitting the post again after the ball pin-balled around in the area following a corner and 16-year-old Rylan Brownlie almost had a memorable first A-Leagues goal but was denied by Kurto.

Aloisi’s charges would finally get reward for effort.

Brisbane were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area on the wing, with O’Shea stepping up and firing his effort through a sea of bodies and into the back of the net.

In fact, it seems as if a decisive ‘duck’ from Kai Trewin ensured the ball would travel past Kurto, who lost sight of O’Shea’s effort among the commotion inside the area, while having the sun beaming his eyes.

With time running out, the Bulls almost pinched the victory, as substitute Ali Auglah cut inside and forced a stunning save from Freke to keep the scores level.

The Talking Point

There may be a new meaning to the phrase ‘lucky duck’!

Kai Trewin may deserve as much credit for Jay O’Shea’s equaliser, after his last second duck helped the Irishman’s free-kick make its way past Macarthur keeper Filip Kurto and into the back of the net.

O’Shea’s free-kick was about to be headed by Trewin, but the Roar substitute ducked his head just in time, which confused Kurto, who lost sight of the ball.

“Well, he doesn’t get anything on the stat-sheet for it, but that duck from Kai Trewin is as important as the ball going in, as important as anything that’s happened in that phase of play,” Network 10 commentator Teo Pellizzeri said.

Former Matilda Grace Gill responded: “It’s really clever. Kurto with the sun in his eyes, O’Shea really just needed to get it on target. The distraction, the run of Trewin was intelligent.”

The Star

Raphael Borges Rodrigues is off to a brilliant start to life at his new home in Macarthur FC.

The former Melbourne City winger scored his first A-Leagues goal in Bulls colours, with a nice header to open the scoring, taking his tally to two in the league. In fact, his only other goal in the competition came against Brisbane two seasons ago.

It’s also his second goal in all competitions for the 20-year-old winger who opened up his account in their 8-2 victory in the AFC Cup over Dynamic Herb Cebu.

Borges Rodrigues – who is the son of former Adelaide United striker Cristiano – was a nuisance all afternoon for the Roar defence. If Saturday’s contest was anything to go by, he could be set for a breakout season.

What they said

Macarthur FC coach Mile Sterjovski said: “The better chances fell to us and it’s disappointing we didn’t put them away.

“I’m very pleased for him (Borges Rodrigues) He’s worked very hard in pre-season and deserved his start. I thought he took his goal really well.

“Firstly, I don’t think it was a foul (in lead-up to O’Shea goal). I don’t think they should have even had the free kick in my opinion.

“But then it’s just a lot of bodies in there. I think he was maybe expecting a deflection and it’s difficult for any keeper I think.”

Brisbane Roar coach Ross Aloisi said: “I’m extremely proud of all the young lads that we’ve got on the team and the senior players who really fight for one another.

“It’s a tremendous group and I’m really enjoying the football that we’re playing.

“We created a lot of good goalscoring opportunities and they caught us on the counter – there weren’t too many times that they played through us.”

What it means

Macarthur FC showed plenty in their first A-Leagues game of the new season and will be hoping to continue their solid form in the AFC Cup on Thursday night, when they face Phnom Penh Crown in Cambodia.

Their busy week continues on Sunday afternoon, when they face Central Coast Mariners on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, it’s an Australia Cup final rematch for Brisbane, who host Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

They should also regain in-form young striker Thomas Waddingham, who missed the contest after only just returning from Young Socceroos duty.