Two goals in the first 25 minutes were enough for Leeds in the opening leg of the Queensland Champions Cup.
Leeds United’s early lead was enough for the English Premier League team to take on Brisbane Roar in the Queensland Champions Cup tie at Cbus Super Stadium on Thursday night.
Leeds took a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute thanks to Wales goals from Daniel James and striker Joe Gelhardt.
But just when it looked like the tourists were in the mood for a field day, the fearless Roar, who was playing his first pre-season match and hadn’t signed a Charlie Austin star, fought back and cut Leeds’ lead in half by halftime. through a goal from the tester, Joe Knowles.
The Roar continued to impress in the second half and missed a great late-game equalizer when substitute Jez Lofthouse failed to hit a goal at point-blank range.
It was to be Brisbane’s last chance as Leeds held on to win ahead of their QCC clash with Premier League rivals Aston Villa at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
“In some of those moments we were too open and allowed too many counterattacks, which gave them too many chances,” said Leeds manager Jesse Marsh.
“We will continue to move forward and I feel like we are moving forward with this group.”
While Leeds faded after the break, they made an impressive start and got the ball into the net less than 25 seconds into the match.
However, American midfielder Brenden Aaronsohn correctly hit an offside position when he shot past goaltender Roar McLean Freke.
Leeds took the lead in the 23rd minute thanks to former Manchester United striker James.
With too much room on the edge of Roar’s penalty area, James landed a powerful shot that beat Freke at the near post.
It only took Leeds two minutes to double their lead, this time James was a floating cross provider who was powerfully met by Gelhardt who climbed high over Roar defender Jack Hingert and headed past Freke.
Perhaps with an eye on Sunday’s game against Villa, Marsh replaced James with newly signed Colombian Luis Sinisterra just 32 minutes later.
“All those guys who played 30, we just controlled them physically, or they came to camp a little later,” Marsh said.
Despite being in second place for most of the first half, Rev scored a goal in the 40th minute.
This was done by former Perth Glory striker Knowles, who reacted quickly to a shot from teammate Rahmat Akbari who deflected a shot from Leeds defender Pascal Strake.
The ball landed at the feet of Knowles, whose shot was too good for Leeds goalkeeper Christopher Claesson.
The Rev had a chance to equalize in the 63rd minute thanks to the influential Jay O’Shea, but the Irish midfielder’s shot was well deflected by Claesson.
Lofthouse then had one last chance to equalize, but was unable to control his efforts from close range after a period of sustained attack by the Rev.
Roar coach Warren Moon was proud of his team’s efforts.
“Our guys held up well, kept their cool and made their way to the game very well, and by the end we could pinch something,” Moon said.
“This is a good first test for us. We have a long pre-season ahead of us and everyone is injury free, so overall we are a happy group.”
Originally published as Leeds continue to open the Queensland Cup with a victory over the fearless Roar