Captain Matt Smith says lessons from Brisbane’s 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix will set the Roar up for next week’s round two clash against Sydney FC.


Brisbane trailed the Phoenix 1-0 at halftime on Sunday after former Belgian international Stein Huysegems’ 22nd-minute strike gave the home team an early lead.

But Besart Berisha equalised less than a minute into the second half, and Ivan Franjic secured the winner as 90 minutes ticked over.

Smith, who missed the final three months of last year’s A-League due to hip surgery, was pleased with the resilience Brisbane showed in rebounding from the early setback.

“There were probably times last season when we would have gone a goal down and dropped our heads,” he said.

“This season, it’s great to see already that the boys will keep pushing and pushing. We’ve always had that never-say-die attitude – it wasn’t necessarily pretty, but we kept going and we got our three points in the end.”

Brisbane will host a bullish Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday after the notoriously slow starters accounted for Newcastle Jets 2-0 in their first opening round win in four years.

The Roar were unbeaten in an impressive pre-season, but their vaunted midfield looked sluggish and struggled for timing against the Phoenix early on, something Smith says they’ll need to rectify quickly.

“Credit goes to Wellington because they made it very, very difficult for us,” he said.

“Our ball speed at times was particularly slow – it gave Wellington opportunity to cut out an awful lot of passes. We can take a lot from today, despite it not being the best performance.

“We’re a club that never likes standing still, whether we’re in the first game of the season or the last game of the season.”