Stretchered off contributors have Brisbane stretched thin

The game itself ended in a 1-1 draw. The outcome, however, was not the major headline in Brisbane’s match with Adelaide as Suncorp Stadium as the A-League season approaches its conclusion. Already competing with a short bench, thanks to shoulder and groin injuries to midfielders Massimo Murdocca and Mitch Nichols, respectively, Brisbane had the misfortune to add additional members to the unavailable.

Rocky Visconte and Luke Brattan each had to be carried off the pitch on stretchers during the match, and each is doubtful going forward. Brittan lasted just a quarter of the match, leaving the game halfway through the first following a pop in his right knee that came during a challenge for the ball, and Visconte was forced off when he received studs to an ankle in the 80th minute of play. If that weren’t enough, several “healthy” players looked fatigued or worse, including key contributor Thomas Broich.

Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou wasn’t particularly pleased with the effort of the referees to tamp down the physical play that eventually damaged his squad.

“Visconte definitely got hurt,” said Postecoglou. “He’s lying down with an icepack on his ankle, so maybe it’s one that (the ref) missed.”

“There were a lot of fouls in the game,” he continued, “particularly early on, and it’s hard to get into any sort of rhythm when that happens.

“I thought the referee could have stamped down on it a bit earlier.”

The frustrated coach looked to the future after blowing off some steam, however.

“We had three or four out, potentially another couple out with still a couple of games to play, so [our depth] will be important,” he explained.

Finishing the year strong remains important to Postecoglou, but his team’s inability to put the football in the back of the net on the night didn’t appear to vex him too much despite the draw.

“That’s the way football goes sometimes,” he said. “We created enough opportunities to win the game and just didn’t take them.

“I can’t fault the effort of the players and I think we kept our composure really well. It was a difficult game with Adelaide sitting back, and obviously them scoring early helped that scenario.

“You can easily get frustrated, but I thought the boys kept their composure and waited for their opportunities.”