Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United side ran out winners in their first match in Australia, courtesy of two first half goals from Dan James and Joe Gelhardt in front of a superb number of Whites fans in Queensland!
A competitive match throughout in this Queensland Champions Cup clash was settled by the odd goal, in a game that saw the head coach able to get minutes into 22 of his players as they continue their pre-season preparations.
Playing in their newly unveiled home kit for the first time, the Whites were on the front foot from kick-off and had the ball in the net inside the first minute. After quick interplay between Rodrigo, Gelhardt and James, Brenden Aaronson fired home but was flagged offside.
That early warning sign set the tone for much of the first 45 minutes though, with Marsch’s side firmly on top and looking to get up the pitch at all opportunities. Robin Koch and summer-arrival Rasmus Kristensen had efforts on goal but neither could break the deadlock.
In the 23rd minute, Leeds did go ahead. A clever ball from Adam Forshaw - who was wearing the captain’s armband from the start - found James on the right of the area. The winger controlled and pushed into the box, before unleashing a powerful low effort into the bottom corner of the net.
Just two minutes later, the Whites further extended their advantage, with another well worked move! Once again James was causing problems, as he chipped a clever ball up to the back post for Gelhardt to rise above the Brisbane defence and power home a header to make it two.
HALF TIME: Brisbane Roar 1 Leeds United 2
Plenty of changes came during the break, with Marsch opting to swap six more of his starting XI. Tyler Adams, Leif Davis, Cody Drameh, Sam Greenwood, Darko Gyabi and Mateusz Klich all entered the action for the second half.
There wasn’t much in the way of chances inside the opening 15 minutes of the second period, as both teams looked to resettle into the game. The closest either side came was through Gelhardt, who narrowly curled wide from the edge of the box.
Further changes were made, as Patrick Bamford, Crysencio Summerville and Diego Llorente were then introduced for the final 30 minutes of the match.
A big chance came the way of the Roar, who were going in search of a leveller. Jay O’Shea found space at the back post and picked his spot, but at full stretch, Kristoffer Klaesson produced an excellent diving save to tip the ball around the post.
FULL TIME: Brisbane Roar 1 Leeds United 2
Queensland Champions Cup
Leeds United 2 (James 23’, Gelhardt 25’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Knowles 40’)
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Queensland.
Leeds: Klaesson (GK), Kristensen (Drameh 45’), Koch (Llorente 61’), Struijk, Harrison (Davis 45’), Roca (Gyabi 45’), Forshaw (C) (Klich 45’), James (Sinisterra 31’ (Summerville 61’)), Rodrigo (Adams 45’ (Gray 81’)), Aaronson (Greenwood 45’), Gelhardt (Bamford 61’).
Subs not used: Christy (GK).
Brisbane: Freke (GK), Aldred (c), Chapman, Akbari, Mileusnic, Hore, Brindell-South, Hingert, Knowles, O’Shea, Trewin.