Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory have failed to gallop, let alone be first across the finishing line after any games in 2017/18 before tonight.
When originally scheduled as the showpiece for Round 6 in prime time, you would have been crazier than the Mad Hatter at the Spring Carnival to say that these teams would have a total of 5 points between them this far into the season.
We saw the return of Besart Berisha from his ill-timed two game suspension, and a very unfamiliar looking Brisbane Roar, including an A-League debut for left-back Connor O’Toole, and starts to youngsters Nick D’Agostino, Joe Caletti and Peter Skapetis. So much for Dad’s Army!
Both teams were desperate for a win and it showed in the 2nd half, but it really took until the Victory goal for both teams to be sparked into life. So here’s your player ratings - keep an eye out for Christian Theoharous whose balance and positive play was a highlight.
Jamie Young – 8.5 - Brilliant right handed save in the 19th Minute to deny Victory off a misplaced Maccarone header, and another at his near post from a Leroy George bullet. Had little to do but when needed he stood up. Hard to see Michael Theo displacing him when fit again.
Connor O’Toole – 7 – Handled his starting debut well, with searching balls for Maccarone fired in early. Got back and defended when needed, but John Aloisi would be happy to see the attacking intent from his left back.
Jacob Pepper – 6.5 - In the unfamiliar role of Centre Back; such is the injury toll at Brisbane currently. Didn’t do too much wrong and filled the hole well alongside Avraam Papadopoulos.
Jack Hingert – 7 - Put in some heavy challenges and his overlapping run to set up a tap in for the only Roar goal was a highlight. Didn’t provide any width for the Roar for the majority of the night.
Avraam Papadopoulos - 7 – has begun to stand up this year and was strong in defence for the Roar. Broke up Melbourne Victory attacks most of the night with key interceptions.