Roar boss praises hero keeper Young after dramatic penalties win over Wanderers

 abc.net.au  4/21/2017 10:52:16 PM 

Posted April 22, 2017 08:52:16

Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young has been praised for his cool nerves following a crucial save in penalties, which clinched victory for his side over Western Sydney Wanderers in Friday night's A-League elimination final.

Young entered the fray late in the match when first-choice goalkeeper Michael Theo left the field with a suspected grade two medial ligament strain, and he departed Lang Park a hero after stopping Jumpei Kusukami's sudden-death spot kick.

The two teams had gone to penalties after the score was deadlocked 1-1 after 120 minutes following extra time, a period in which the Wanderers were down to 10 men courtesy of the red card issued to substitute Jaushua Sotirio.

Young made the crucial save to give the Roar a 6-5 advantage from the spot, and they now have an away clash with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park next weekend for a place in the grand final.

Roar coach John Aloisi says he was left impressed by Young's poise under pressure when their side's season was on the line.

"I was confident he was going to save at least one penalty because that's the character he's got, he believes he's going to win football games for you and he did that tonight," he said.

Young is set to start against the Victory, with Theo ruled out of the remainder of the season.

Aloisi will put a focus on the Roar's start after a sluggish beginning against the Wanderers, who had led 1-0 at the break following a Terry Antonis' goal.

The Roar equalised in the 55th minute when Jamie MacLaren found the back of the net, but Aloisi was scathing of the first-half display.

He suggested his troops may have been distracted by the media attention surrounding Thomas Broich's imminent departure from the club.

"Everyone was off. Maybe it was a little bit of that (Broich departure). Maybe one article about it would have been enough instead of the whole week," Aloisi said.

Roar's A-League tilt now their main priority

Before the Roar meet the Victory they will need to make a trip to Thailand for their AFC Champions League fixture against Muangthong United on Wednesday night.

They need a win to keep alive their faint hopes of qualifying for the knock-out phase from Group E.

Aloisi says he will prioritise the Roar's A-League championship pursuit over their ambitions in Asia.

"At the moment, (the A-League finals) are going to have to come first," he said.

"It's going to be hard for me to take everyone to Thailand.

"I'm going to have to make decisions on who I take, who I leave behind, to make sure they're ready for our game against Melbourne Victory.

"We want to do well in the ACL but we've been put in a pretty difficult situation."

AAP/ABC

Topics: a-league, soccer, sport, brisbane-4000, parramatta-2150

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