It was the Hyundai A-league’s 2016/17 opener on Friday night in front of a 15,805 strong crowd and although Brisbane Roar snatched a dramatic equaliser in the dying moments of the game, the match with Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium some how failed to miss the heights.
Kevin Muscat’s team were unable to break through an organised opposition for most of the game but with 8 minutes remaining, Mitch Austin smashed home a shot through the legs of Roar keeper Michael Theo, after the Roar failed to deal with a cross from Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
The Roar were down to 10 men at this point following the sending off of their captain Matty McKay. The skipper had received a yellow card in the first half and with 25 minutes remaining picked up another for tugging Khalfallah’s shirt.
McKay who was appearing his 200th A-League game was not happy and threw his armband in referee Shaun Evans’ direction as his incensed coach John Aloisi remonstrated from the touchline.
As the game went into stoppage time and with the full time whistle beckoning, Jamie Maclaren earned the Roar a free kick. Luke DeVere got on the end of the delivery which he looped over Victory keeper and into the back of the net, proving once again the Roar have a knack for late and dramatic goals.
After the match Muscat urged his men not to be downbeat for not taking a hard earned full three points.
“They will be (disappointed), of course they will be, but I won’t allow it. I’m pleased with the performance,” he said.
“The goal at the end, there’s a couple of contests, you compete for the ball and it just loops into the back corner. What do you do?
“I thought we were very good value.”