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Aloisi adamant Brisbane can still roar in Asia

Soccer

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi is refusing to believe his side's AFC Champions League hopes are gone, clinging to hope they can win their remaining three games and qualify for the knockout phase.

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Aloisi put on a brave face after his side’s 3-0 defeat to Kashima Antlers in Japan last night, which leaves them winless on bottom of Group E with a -9 goal difference.

The Roar played well in patches but lacked penetration and didn’t make the most of their chances, unlike the reigning J1 League and Emperor’s Cup winners, who were much more slick and clinical in front of goal.

But with two home games to go – against Kashima and Ulsan Hyundai – as well as a trip to Thailand to face Muangthong United, Aloisi says all is not yet lost.

“The goal difference is killing us a little bit but I’m still positive,” Aloisi said.

“I still feel them coming to Australia, plus Ulsan coming to Australia – in terms of how far it is, the heat, the conditions, I think we can look to hopefully get two wins there.

“And then we’re still in with an opportunity. That would give us 10 points and then you should qualify.

“We showed tonight we’re not far off of it, so why can’t we win in Australia and still push?”

Aloisi draws his confidence from a friendlier run of games in the coming weeks.

The Roar have six matches over the next four weeks but they have a four-day break before their next ACL assignment, while the other two will come during the A-League finals, with Aloisi hopeful Football Federation Australia will be flexible when locking in dates should Brisbane also be playing.

“Our schedule shouldn’t be an issue, not like last time. Last time we were dealt with a very, very hard hand – impossible. But from now it’s not so bad,” he said.

Brisbane return to A-League action on Sunday – hosted by Adelaide United – but could be without skipper Matt McKay.

Aloisi said it was a concerning sign McKay had volunteered to come off midway through the second half with back stiffness.

“You normally have to drag him off. Hopefully with treatment he’ll be right to go on Sunday,” he said.

The Roar are already missing Tommy Oar (hamstring), Luke DeVere (calf) and Daniel Bowles (knee) but midfielder Thomas Kristensen is a chance to return from a thigh strain.

Meanwhile, Adelaide United captain Eugene Galekovic could play one of his last games for the club in tonight’s Asian Champions League match.

Galekovic is in the frame to return from a shoulder injury for the ACL fixture against Korea’s Jeju United in Adelaide.

But his future in Adelaide beyond this season is clouded amid speculation the Reds are on the verge of signing his one-time goalkeeping understudy Paul Izzo, currently at Central Coast.

Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor said yesterday he was uncertain about Galekovic’s future.

“I don’t know his future, if he stay here or not,” Amor told reporters.

“I don’t know … the future, we don’t know the future.

“Euge for me is a very important player, a very important person in Adelaide, in South Australia and in Australia.

-AAP

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