Robbie Fowler was full of praise as Brisbane Roar bounced back from FFA Cup heartbreak by beating Perth Glory in the opening match of the inaugural Surf City Cup.
Jai Ingham grabbed the only goal of the game on 61 minutes as Fowler’s charges edged the Hyundai A-League Premiers 1-0 to launch the three-team triangle tournament played over five days, which also involves Newcastle Jets.
The game took place only 48 hours after Roar were sent crashing out of the FFA Cup Round of 16 in a crushing penalty shootout defeat against the Central Coast Mariners following a 2-2 draw at Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe.
Fowler fielded 12 academy players in a youthful squad at the Croatian Sports Centre on the Gold Coast and the Roar coach heaped praise on his talented prospects.
"The lads were brilliant. They put in an unbelievable shift against a team that finished top of the league last season," Fowler told brisbaneroar.com.au.
"We were compact, clever, did all the things that we had to to get the win."
Brisbane play Newcastle at 4pm AEST on Sunday, knowing that a win would secure the trophy before Tuesday’s closer between the Jets and Glory.
Popovic pleased with Premiers’ progress
Perth Glory sent out a strong line up against Brisbane which included Diego Castro, Neil Kilkenny and new signings Bruno Fornaroli, Jacob Tratt, Kim Soo-beom, Osama Malik and Nick D’Agostino.
The Western Australian side may not have got themselves on the scoresheet but Tony Popovic was encouraged with what he saw.
“There’s a lot of new players in there. We saw some good signs, and created some good chances so that’s always a positive,” Popovic told Perthglory.com.au.
“We gave away one chance on the break and they punished us with that. If we keep limiting the chances to one or two chances per game for the opponent then that is pleasing for us.”