Victory hold on to silence Brisbane Roar
ROAR coach John Aloisi refuses to write off Brisbane's A-League season despite another frustrating night at Suncorp Stadium.
A depleted Roar slumped to second last on the ladder following their 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory.
Goals inside the first 20 minutes to Victory pair Rhys Williams and Kosta Barbarouses ultimately condemned Brisbane to their fifth defeat in 11 matches despite Italian marquee man Massimo Maccarone scoring for the fifth time this season in the 56th minute.
Aloisi was unhappy with his side's start but felt the Roar were the better team in the second half.
"I don't think that many teams that have 11 players plus out would be able to put on a performance like we did in the second half against probably the best front four in the league," Aloisi said.
Players unavailable due to injury, illness or suspension included Eric Bautheac, Brett Holman, Avraam Papadopoulos, Joey Caletti, Jade North, Michael Theo, Shannon Brady, Nick D'Agostino, Corey Gameiro and Luke DeVere.
It meant that teenagers Rahmat Akbari and Daniel Leck received game time.
"If all my players came back, we'd be right up there," Aloisi said.
"We're not too far away from fourth spot anyway … we will fight and we will work through it.
"The boys showed their character again. They're not giving up. We're patching up things in terms of personnel but they're still able to put on a performance and nearly get a result against a side that's very dangerous.
"We'll keep going. It's very close. The top three are a little bit more ahead of everyone else but you have to make the top six and we'll still be believing that we can make the top six."
Positives for the Roar last night included the second-half cameos of Akbari and Leck, the performance of goalkeeper Jamie Young and the return of Thomas Kristensen.
On the comeback trail from a serious hamstring injury, the former Danish international made his first appearance of the season, coming on in the second half as a replacement for Mitch Oxborrow.
But while the second half was encouraging, the Roar's start was poor and ultimately cost them the game.
"That was the most disappointing thing of the night, that we started slowly," Aloisi said.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat was delighted with his side's response to their 2-1 last-start loss to Adelaide United.
"The focus all week was on performance,' Muscat said.
"It was a really good week. There were some discussions had in reviewing last week's game and no-one was pleased.
"In that first half (against) the Roar, I thought we were excellent, I thought we were outstanding … it could have been one or two more."
MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 (Rhys Williams 12m, Kosta Barbarouses 19m) bt BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Massimo Maccarone 56m) at Suncorp Stadium