Brisbane Roar’s maiden Asian Champions League campaign was dealt a fatal blow yesterday with a 4-2 defeat to hosts FC Tokyo.
Imports Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich scored for A-League Champions the Roar, while Hideto Takahashi and Kentu Mukuhara’s strikes, together with Kazua Watanabe’s brace, was enough for the hosts to seal their passage through to the Round of 16.
The Roar burst out of the blocks at Tokyo’s National Stadium, aware that only a three-goal win would keep their slim qualification hopes alive.
Berisha’s opener on four minutes was the perfect start for Brisbane, but within a minute Takahashi drew the hosts level and with his strike, ultimately, went Brisbane’s feint hopes.
Mukuhara struck next for FC Tokyo - a neat back post finish on twenty minutes, before Broich restored parity with a cool left footed strike of his own.
Watanabe’s first, a penalty, came on the stroke of half time after he was fouled by Mohamed Sayed Adnan, his second was an expert dispatch fifteen minutes after the break.
The subplot to Brisbane’s final push for success in Asia was the debut of new coach and long-time Roar assistant Rado Vidosic.
The Roar’s final Group F match, at home to Chinese side Beijing Guoan, is now a dead rubber, but an invaluable opportunity for Vidosic to further stamp his authority on a team expected to challenge for domestic honours again in 2012/13.
‘‘Results wise we’re not as happy as we’d like to be but nevertheless, the game plan, the things that we tried worked really well,’’ said Vidosic after his first match in the Brisbane hot seat.
‘‘The only problem we had was just in the front third where unfortunately we could just not create enough chances and not put them away.
‘‘Also there was a little bit of individual mistakes that we made, another penalty, nevertheless we are learning and hopefully we’ll be much better and stronger next year.’’
‘‘We’re disappointed to lose but we’ve got so much to learn, we’ve got so much ahead of us, it’s very encouraging.
‘‘If you take the goals away, it was a game that both coaches would be very happy with.’’