Aloisi prioritising finals over AFC dreams
Brisbane Roar has no choice but to put their A-League finals ambitions before Wednesday's AFC Champions League clash in Thailand, coach John Aloisi says.
John Aloisi says he will prioritise Brisbane Roar's A-League championship pursuit over their AFC Champions League ambitions as he begins to count the cost of a gruelling elimination final victory.
The Roar will face Melbourne Victory for a spot in the grand final next Sunday after edging Western Sydney 6-5 in a penalty shootout at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
The two sides were locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes of football, with the Wanderers dominating the first half but losing control of the match to the Roar and crucially losing a man when substitute Jaushua Sotirio was sent off in the opening portion of extra time.
But before Aloisi turns his attention to the clash with Victory at AAMI Park, there is the small matter of a midweek trip to Thailand.
Brisbane face Muangthong United on Wednesday night, needing to win to keep alive their faint hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase from Group E.
Aloisi said he would more than likely leave his best players at home.
"At the moment, (the 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."
The Roar will certainly be without first-choice goalkeeper Michael Theo, who has suffered a suspected grade two medial ligament strain, ruling him out of the remainder of the season.
Theo had made a string of important early saves but his replacement, Jamie Young, won the match for Brisbane by stopping Jumpei Kusukami's sudden-death spot kick.
"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," Aloisi said.
Aloisi was critical of his side's first half, suggesting maybe they had been distracted by the publicity surrounding Thomas Broich's impending departure from the club.
"Everyone was off. Maybe it was a little bit of that. Maybe one article about it would have been enough instead of the whole week," he said.
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