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Aloisi: Kashima win 'huge' for Brisbane Roar

Goal.com logo Goal.com 12-04-2017

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi believes his side's history-making victory over Kashima Antlers will give them a boost in both the AFC Champions League (ACL) and the A-League finals.

Aloisi's men triumphed 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night to stay in contention for a top-two finish in Group E, while also registering Roar's breakthrough home win in the ACL group stage.

Brisbane had failed to win in seven previous group fixtures at home but were well worth the three points against Kashima, as goals from Jamie Maclaren and Brett Holman saw off the J.League champions.

Roar remain fourth in Group E's standings but the pool has tightened up thanks to their win against the Antlers and Muangthong United's defeat of Ulsan.

Muangthong top the group with eight points, two ahead of Kashima, with Ulsan and Roar level on four.

Coming off the back of a 3-1 loss away to Perth Glory last week, the ACL win is certain to lift the spirits at Brisbane, according to Aloisi, with the Queensland-based club having lost three of their previous five matches in all competitions.

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"It gives the boys plenty of confidence," Roar's boss said after the match.

"Not only for the rest of the ACL campaign but also leading into finals because we know what Kashima are like. They're a top side.

"They're probably - if not one of the best in Asia - they are the best because they made the final of the Club World Championship [sic] only a couple of months ago taking Real Madrid all the way to extra time, and we saw their quality again tonight.

"So as a win, that was a huge win because that shows how good we can be."

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Wednesday's win was the second time this season Brisbane have made waves in Asia - they also eliminated Shanghai Shenhua featuring Carlos Tevez in a qualifying play-off - and on that form the men in orange shape as a dark horse for the A-League championship.

Roar need to beat Wellington Phoenix on Sunday to have a chance of moving up to third ahead of the finals but may have to do so without Jack Hingert, who injured his cheekbone against Kashima, with the right-back set to be examined on Thursday.

But Aloisi isn't concerned about more potential changes to his starting XI.

"I'm not worried because we've gone virtually six months without having a complete squad," he said.

Kashima Antlers silence Roar

"We've had to rely on players coming in, stepping up. Joey Caletti for Matt McKay - our captain - again, superb performance… it's something we've had to deal with because of the schedule we've been given that we've had to rely on a big squad."

Maclaren kick-started Brisbane with his maiden ACL goal in the 18th minute - the 23-year-old's 19th goal in all competitions in 2016-17.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou was in the stands but Maclaren - who has made two appearances for Australia but was left out of the most recent squad - insisted that wasn't a factor in his display.

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"I didn't even know he was going to be here, so my mentality is to just to go on and score goals whether it's Champions League or A-League," he said.

"I've hit form at a good time before the finals and I know if I'm given the chance I'll take it."

Roar's next ACL fixture is away to Muangthong on April 26.

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