On a night when Perth Glory’s bench came into full focus, it was a Brisbane Roar substitute who made all the difference as Henry Hore entered the fray to head the all-important winner past Perth goalkeeper Cameron Cook to seal a 1-0 win for his side at Moreton Daily Stadium.
KEEPUP was on hand to bring you LIVE coverage of all the goals, highlights and biggest talking points from the Isuzu UTE A-League on Wednesday night, with kick-off at 7.45pm AEDT at Moreton Daily Stadium.
MATCH REPORT: BRISBANE ROAR 1-0 PERTH GLORY
‘He has to work that out’ – Garcia’s Sturridge test (10.45pm AEDT)
When Daniel Sturridge came on for Perth Glory with more than 20 minutes to play on Wednesday night, the last thing Perth fans wanted to see was Bruno Fornaroli going the other way.
Perth boss Richard Garcia left Andy Keogh on for the remainder of the 90 minutes to play with Sturridge as Perth proceeded to go a goal down, and ultimately lose by that exact margin.
“I’d like to see them playing together,” Said Paramount+ analyst Luke Wilkshire after the game. “Perhaps (Garcia) thought Fornaroli didn’t have the legs, and Keogh had more legs in him.
“I think anyone in the league is going to want to see both Sturridge and Fornaroli try and create a partnership up there.”
McBreen replied: “You can have a front three with Keogh up there as well – that’s some quality.
“We know once they all get up to fitness, and the feel and touch back, if you have those three in your frontline I think anyone would snap that up.
“Garcia, he has to go ‘right, what is the best way we can play that compliments (Sturridge) the most?’ He has to work that out, and how he can fit in this team with the players around him, and what’s the best way to bring that to fruition.”
Sturridge said he ‘felt great’ in the aftermath of his second appearance for Perth since arriving in Australia. He flashed a well-hit strike from a free-kick just wide of the mark in his best attacking contribution to date, and skipped past Roar defender Kai Trewin with some neat footwork which offered a glimpse at the talent he possesses.
“If you’ve got that class you don’t ever lose that,” Wilkshire said. “He’s got that quality. The biggest thing is fitness and it’s the hunger, the desire to want to perform, want to win, and prove he can still perform at this level. There’s no doubting his ability.”
Aspropotamitis best Glory player ‘by a mile’ (10.40pm AEDT)
They were poor on the night, shipping 28 shots to five in a 1-0 defeat to Brisbane Roar, but as the offensive barrage tested Perth Glory’s Jonathan Aspropotamitis time and again, the central defender stood tall in a brilliant individual performance under extreme duress.
A crunching goal-line challenge on Alex Parsons and a headed clearance from an open goal in the first half were the standout moments in a brilliant defensive display by Aspropotamitis, who ended Perth’s first game in 42 days battered and bruised, and on the losing side in a 1-0 defeat on the road.
But if it wasn’t for his defensive efforts the result could have been a whole lot worse for the Glory, says McBreen.
“I think Aspro, he was their best by a mile for me,” McBreen said.
“In a poor performance – I know all the circumstances going around it – but if you want to be truthful it wasn’t a great performance, but he stood up for that team.
“If it wasn’t for him and (goalkeeper) Cook, it could’ve been a lot more.”
‘Warren Moon will have a look at that’ – Parsons trumps Lescano in Roar attack (10.20pm AEDT)
He was Brisbane Roar’s key off-season attacking signing, but Argentine Juan Lescano has yet to get off the ground in his five goalless appearances to date.
Lescano’s second-half substitution opened the way for young Roar striker Alex Parsons to play down the middle. Hore’s winning goal came just moments after the change, so the winning goal had little to do with Lescano’s exit, but in his absence McBreen and Wilkshire spotted a notable difference in Parson’s effectiveness going forward.
“I thought Lescano was off (it) for me, in that front pairing,” Wilkshire said post-match.
“I thought Parsons in the second half, when he moved into that central area I thought he did well.
“I wonder if Warren Moon will have a look at that, and look at changing it up.”
McBreen added: “Parsons is a player who loves to get forward whenever he can, he’s quite dynamic as a player and he seemed to get on the ball and want to run at players.
“But he also has that pace that he can be a threat in behind or come to the ball, which I think Lescano, you know he’s not going to out-run you behind so as a defender you can stay tighter and put a bit more pressure on him, and you’re not worried about ‘what’s going to happen in behind me?’”
Sturridge fires wide, Aspropotamitis to the rescue again (9.35pm AEDT)
Daniel Sturridge’s first genuine sight on goal in the Isuzu UTE A-League came from a set piece, with a curling strike angled toward the top-left corner of goal just flashing past the wrong side of the post.
It was Perth’s best opportunity of the game as the visitors struggled to keep the pace with a relentless Roar side which plugged away at finding an opener until Hore finally made the breakthrough.
Down the other end it was Aspropotamitis doing his upmost to keep his side in it with a crunching challenge on Alex Parsons on the goal line which saw the Roar forward thump the ball off the crossbar from within the six-yard box, clattering the post on the way to the ground.
Hore off the bench, into the action and onto the scoresheet (9.20pm AEDT)
As the substitutions flowed, all eyes fixated on Perth Glory’s number 15 emerging from the bench and into the action. But it was Hore – former captain of Glory’s youth outfit – who made the impact off the pine to put the Roar in front.
Alex Parsons swung a corner deep to the back post, and as Perth keeper Cook lost his footing Scott Neville diverted the ball into the danger area, where Hore was waiting to nod the ball home.
Sturridge on for final 25 minutes (9.10pm AEDT)
Daniel Sturridge is on for Glory, replacing Bruno Fornaroli with 23 minutes on the clock and stoppage time to play.
He douses himself in water before replacing Fornaroli on the field. Perth fans are guaranteed to see their English star for a good chunk of this second half, after a frustratingly short nine-minute debut in Perth’s first game of the season.
The scores are locked at 0-0, and the Roar are struggling to find a way through as Glory centre-back Aspropotamitis continues to put his body on the line for the cause.
Can Sturridge be the difference-maker in Queensland?
‘We have to get the goal, otherwise all that play is no good’ (8.35pm AEDT)
It’s 0-0 at the break between Brisbane and Perth, but the statistics are all in favour of the wasteful home side.
The Roar have had 13 shots to Perth’s two through the first 45 minutes, but have failed to break the deadlock. The Roar have scored just two goals this season, and captain Jay O’Shea was critical of his side’s ineffective attacking play in the moments after the half-time whistle.
“We have to get the goal, otherwise all that play is no good,” O’Shea told Paramount+.
“We have to make it count, try and get the goal to go on and win the game.”
Aspropotamitis dives into Glory net to spare Cook’s blushes (8.30pm AEDT)
It was a calamitous mistake from Glory keeper Cameron Cook, who poked the ball with his standing foot when attempting to clear the danger with his opposite boot.
The loose ball spilled to Jay O’Shea, who took the ball on a tight angle and curled it toward the top corner of an unguarded net.
A desperate Aspropotamitis got back to head the ball off the line, falling into the back of the net himself and injuring his leg in the tangle.
Roar enter ‘danger period’ as half-time approaches (8.15pm AEDT)
They’ve dominated proceedings through the first half-hour of play, but without a goal to show for their efforts Brisbane are entering the 30-minute bracket in which Warren Moon’s side has conceded six of its seven goals to date this season.
Those six goals have been shipped in the 15 minutes on either side of half-time, meaning the Roar have been most susceptible to conceding between the 30th and 60th minute of each Isuzu UTE A-League contest this season.
Perth are yet to put a shot on goal at Moreton Daily Stadium, but if the visitors can put their lethargic start behind them, opportunities to go ahead could arise.
KICK-OFF: Roar press from the start (7.47pm AEDT)
With less than one minute on the clock, Brisbane Roar hit Perth Glory with an early attacking flurry. Jay O’Shea called Cameron Cook into a diving save low to his right, Alex Parsons fluffed his lines on the rebound before Nicholas Olsen let a right-footed strike fly, driving the ball across the face and just missing the bottom-right corner of goal.
A baptism of fire early doors for a Perth side making their long-awaited return to play.
The teams are in! Sturridge on Glory bench (7.20pm AEDT)
Just as Glory head coach Richard Garcia suggested on Monday morning, prized recruit Daniel Sturridge is on the bench for Perth as Bruno Fornaroli and Andy Keogh lead the line for the visitors.
Nikola Mileusnic starts alongside Juan Lescano up top for the Roar, with Rahmat Akbari returning to the starting XI.
In the last 15 meetings between these two sides, only once has either side managed to keep a clean sheet on the day, with an average of four goals scored per game along that 15-game run.
The Roar have enjoyed recent success against Perth at home, losing only two of their last 11 Isuzu UTE A-League meetings in Queensland.
Perth lost their most recent league fixture 1-0 against Melbourne City, and will be eager to avoid notching successive defeats in the league for the first time since April, 2021.