The Roar off season focus on attack and neglect of defence has come to roost. A-League teams are usually built from the defence forward.
After two games of domination and no result, the Roar either had to show their striking talent has teeth or face the consequences of an off night. The Central Coast defence was a solid wall. There was no way through for the Roar, and both Roar goals came from spot kicks.
At the other end the Roar defence clearly has some holes to fill. But worse than that CCM played negative long ball counter attack all night and their speed and strength made it highly successful.
For the Roar Sergio Van Dijk is starting to look like a Marcus Wedau style mistake - was there too much of the idea of a Dutch striker and not enough of the reality check of the physicality of the A-league? Strangly I read in the paper that he said that the A-League pays players a lot of money. Well I think the Roar pays him a lot. He just isn't strong enough it is as simple as that. He is too weak in the air. He can't run fast enough.
Meanwhile, Reinaldo and Miller are the Roar's strongest players but have an inadequate target man to bounce the ball off.
Overall the Roar remind of their season one team - not mature enough to win penalties and free kicks when fouled, pushed off the ball when goal bound.
And the defence - young Matt Simon made them look slow and foolish, as did MacMaster.
It will be interesting to see how the Roar respond. We don't want to be left behind with Perth and Wellington as not quite there.