Roar stumble in ACL opener

Yazawa Tatsuya.
Yazawa Tatsuya. Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris

BRISBANE Roar's maiden Asian Champions League adventure has begun in disastrous fashion after FC Tokyo blitzed the A-League champions 2-0 at Suncorp Stadium.



FC TOKYO 2 (Tatsuya '45+1, Hanyu '55)

The Roar was outplayed on a sodden Brisbane night, at times chasing shadows as the visiting Japanese struck through Yazawa Tatsuya and Naotake Hanyu.

"This game we played very smart," FC Tokyo coach Ranko Popovic said.

"I'm very proud of my guys today ... I think all of Japan can be proud."

In slick conditions, the visiting team - another ACL debutant - had the majority of the territory, able to outplay its host at a style of play with which the Roar has built its domestic success.

Despite only recently coming out of its off-season slumber, the Japanese outfit was the aggressor, harassing in packs and easily finding space and time with the ball at their feet.

And right on the stroke of half-time FC Tokyo found the goal its play deserved, Yazawa Tatsuya firing home from close range.

The goal had a hint of fortune to it - the ball ricocheting off Roar's Erik Paartalu and into the path of Yuhei Tokunaga - but there was nothing lucky about Tokunaga's inviting pass for Tatsuya to slam home.

Roar's misfortune intensified after the break as FC Tokyo doubled its lead on the 55th minute through Naotake Hanyu.

The Japanese midfielder was in the perfect place after Ariajasuru Hasegawa sprung the offside trap and forced Michael Theoklitos to parry the ball onto Hanyu's boot.

The Roar poured forward in search of its first ACL goal, but even with the fresh impetus of young guns Luke Brattan, Kofi Danning and James Meyer, Brisbane must wait until matchday two against Beijing Guoan in China for that first elusive goal.

Despite the heavy loss, Roar coach Ange Postecoglou refused to lament his team's display in it's opening ACL match.

The Roar coach was not the only one not counting out Brisbane from progressing further in the competition, Postecoglou's counterpart Popovic impressed with his vanquished foe's style and dedication.

"Without a good opponent it is impossible to play a good game," Popovic said.

"(The Roar) are doing very well but I'm happy cause we did better." 

Topics:  asian champions league brisbane roar

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