Who Is Walter Pless?


A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Photo:  Brisbane Roar's Ange Postecoglu was in charge for his 200th match in Australia's top flight [PlessPix]

(A-League, Suncorp Stadium, Friday, 2 March 2012)

Brisbane Roar 1 (Nichols 33)

Melbourne Heart 1 (Good 49)

HT: 1-0   Att: 9,998  Ref: R Shepheard

Brisbane Roar: Theoklitos  -  Franjic, Adnan, Smith, Stefanutto  -  Nichols (Meyer 40), Paartalu, Murdocca  -  Fitzgerald (Nakajima-Farran 65), Berisha, Broich  (Subs not used:  Jurman, Redmayne)

Melbourne Heart: Bolton  -  Good, Thompson, Colosimo, Marrone  -  Srhoj, Germano, Fred (Worm 62)  -  Dugandzic (Alex Terra 86), Babalj, Behich  (Subs not used:  Hamill, Mattei)

Besart Berisha is the A-League’s leading scorer by a mile.  Why he did not take the penalty in stoppage time that would have given Brisbane Roar a win against Melbourne Heart and top spot on the ladder is a mystery.

Berisha was brought down by Simon Colosimo in the 91st minute for the penalty, but it was Mohamed Adnan who stepped up to take the spot-kick.  Heart keeper Clint Bolton pulled off a marvellous save to earn his side a point in the 1-1 draw.  On such decisions do results revolve.

Bolton had shown his class as early as the 3rd minute when he produced two brilliant saves in quick succession to deny Massimo Murdocca and Berisha.

In the 15th minute, Mitch Nichols volleyed narrowly wide as Brisbane did most of the attacking.

The Roar took the lead in the 33rd minute when Colosimo blocked a Thomas Broich shot, the ball going straight to Nichols, who hammered his shot inside Bolton’s far left-hand post.

Nichols only lasted another 6 minutes before succumbing to injury and being replaced by James Meyer.

The second half was a completely different affair, with Melbourne Heart playing excellent pressing football and forcing the Roar onto the back foot.

Every Heart player played a part, with attackers harassing Roar defenders and the Heart midfielders and defenders pressing their opponents high up the pitch.

The visitors fully deserved their equaliser in the 49th minute after a sustained period of attack in which the home side’s defence simply could not get the ball out of the danger zone.

Mate Dugandzic’s low cross from the right had the Roar defence in trouble and only a mis-kick by Eli Babalj at the far post enabled Roar keeper Michael Theoklitos to flap at the ball and turn it out for a corner.

Theoklitos did very well to deny Jonatan Germano’s header from the resultant corner and concede another corner, which proved fatal, defender Curtis Good rising above Ivan Franjic and heading home the equaliser.

Babalj should have sealed the match for the visitors in the 78th minute when he rounded Theoklitos and, with Adnan desperately trying to get back to cover, fired into the side-netting.

And then came the stoppage-time penalty drama and miss, which prevented Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglu from celebrating his 200th match in charge of a top-flight Australian team with a win.

Brisbane Roar stay second, 2 points adrift of leaders Central Coast Mariners, while Melbourne Heart remain in 5th spot.