A reduced Roar still too strong for Reds

Dec 30, 2017 - 10:38 AM A 10-man Brisbane Roar outfit lost their skipper Matt McKay to a red card but still recorded a dramatic 2-1 win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors were leading 2-0 heading into the break before McKay was given his marching orders in first-half injury time.

He was making his 250th appearance for the Roar before falling foul of the referee for kicking out against Nikola Mileusnic after a tackle brought both men to ground.

Brisbane were forced to set up camp in their defence for the second with the Reds only able to pull one goal back despite the extra man advantage.

Roar coach John Aloisi didn't hide his excitement at the full-time whistle and passionately celebrated the victory.

"It means so much to us because we've had a lot of difficulties this season," he said.

"Everyone has spoken about it but there's one thing that Brisbane Roar won't do (and) that is give up.

"That's what it was - it was to show these boys will never give in and they'll keep going."

After dominating most of the first half the Reds fell behind after a rare mistake from captain Isaias on 33 minutes.

The Spanish midfielder's poor first touch from a Jodran Elsey pass allowed Fahid Ben Khalfallah to steal possession and round Izzo and slot the ball into an empty net.

Roar doubled their lead on the stroke of half time after Khalfallah again stole possession, this time robbing Nathan Konstandopoulos, before supplying Massimo Maccarone with the perfect through ball.

The Italian striker showed his class with a sublime chip over the onrushing Izzo.

With the visitors seemingly in control, McKay was sent off in first half injury time after the skipper's altercation with Mileusnic.

The Reds winger had brought down McKay, who then lashed out while the pair was on the ground.

After consulting his assistant, referee Adam Fielding issued the Roar midfielder with a yellow card before the VAR appeared to overturn the decision and deem the offence worthy of a straight red.

On 69 minutes the home side did pull one back courtesy of a very fortunate ricochet in the middle of the park.

The blocked clearance split the Roar defence and put Mileusnic through on goal.

The winger rounded the keeper but his shot bounced back off the upright and fell perfectly for George Blackwood, who tapped into an empty net.

Johan Absalonsen, in his first game since the FFA Cup semi-final, had a couple of chances in the closing stages but put one wide and headed over the bar with the other.

United coach Marco Kurz was palpably disappointed with the loss but felt his side show enough signs early in the match.

The Reds had dominated much of the play against Brisbane who sat back and carefully selected their moments to press United's defence.

"It's not so easy when a team stays very deep," Kurz said.

"You must play 100 per cent concentrated and do no mistakes."

Source: AAP

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