Roar gets Victory warning for final
PREMIER'S Plate winner the Brisbane Roar will need to bring its 'A-game' to Sunday's home A-League semi-final against the Melbourne Victory to have a shot at clinching the premiership as well.
That's the view of A-League boss Damien de Bohun who said the Victory's 2-0 win against Asian Champions League champion Guangzhou Evergrande last week had served notice to the other A-League finalists.
"I will say it's the best game I've seen an A-League team play," de Bohun told APN during a visit to Brisbane yesterday to promote Sunday's game.
"Guangzhou played good football, but got beaten by a better team.
"I think the big shift was last year (when) we had one team in the Asian Champions League - this year we have three.
"We worked really hard behind the scenes to get three teams in there."
De Bohun also defended the scheduling of this weekend's matches, which will see the Mariners have just one day to prepare for their semi-final against the Wanderers in Sydney on Saturday after getting back from taking on Sanfrecce Hiroshima in an ACL game in Japan tonight.
The Victory, on the other hand, played Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in South Korea last night, and don't take on the Roar until Sunday.
"Would they (the clubs) have it different if they could? Probably," de Bohun said. "But, when it's all said and done, people know their schedules coming into the season, and we have moved games to give them every chance of success."
De Bohun also said he had no problem with the fact the Roar faced a sudden-death match against the Victory in its first finals appearance.
"Last year we trialled the sudden-death finals format for the first time, and the first and second teams played off in the grand final, so there's a suggestion that the finals are working out the right way," he said.
Roar captain Matt Smith also told APN yesterday during a special A-League promotion at Brisbane primary school St Joseph's, Bardon, he was delighted with the Victory's performance over the Marcello Lippi-coached Evergrande outfit.
"As an Australian player, we want the Australian teams to do well in Asia, there's no doubt about that," he said. "It improves the profile of the A-League."