Brisbane Roar have held on to claim a drought breaking 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday night.
Massimo Maccarone opened the scoring for the visitors placing the ball into the bottom corner, after the Italian controlled Leigh Broxham’s poor headed clearance.
Maccarone was just as heavily involved in the second goal, grabbing an assist for Brett Holman’s well placed finish.
Substitute James Troisi gave the Victory a sense of belief in the dying stages of the match when his stunning effort from outside the box pulled one back for the home side.
Pressure continues to grow on Kevin Muscat
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Kevin Muscat will be hoping for a quick change in fortunes for the remainder of the season. The Victory have now lost three games on the trot and those results have seen pressure continue to grow on the former Socceroos defender.
Victory fans vented their frustration at the current situation, booing their manager when he was shown on the big screen as the game continued to draw to a close. As the coach of arguably the biggest club in the country, the fans are nothing short of demanding success year after year and if that is not being delivered they will call for change.
Despite the pressure he is under, Muscat made positive changes in the second half introducing three attacking players as his side chased the game. Throughout his tenure, fans have called for greater variety in his tactics and this could possibly show a change in mindset from Muscat.
Is it time for a change to a top four?
Following the result at AAMI Park, the Victory and Roar both now sit inside the top six and if the season was to end tonight they would face off next week in an elimination final. In all honesty, if these two sides were to face off it would be a poor reflection on the competition.
To say both Muscat and John Aloisi’s side have struggled for consistency would be an understatement and to think they could compete in a finals series is simply not good enough.
This issue in itself must raise the question regarding a possible top-four finals series in future, or even going further as to suggesting A-League expansion needs to happen as soon as possible.
Toothless against clinical attack
Despite making major improvements in the second half, the home side failed to severely test Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young – barring Troisi’s stunning strike. Victory’s failure to convert chances was most noted by a loose ball in which Terry Antonis and Leroy George ran into each other during the second half.
Besart Berisha was withdrawn from the contest in place of Kenny Athiu which highlighted his underwhelming performance.
At the other end of the pitch, two clear cut chances in the first half had the Roar two clear. Aloisi set up his team to frustrate the Victory and they did exactly that. Having quality players such as Holman and Maccarone certainly made a difference as the Roar won in Melbourne for the first time in 14 matches.