Leeds United started their Australian tour with an energetic, though at times, less-than-convincing 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar at Cbus Super Stadium in Queensland.
Jesse Marsch’s side have brought in six new faces already this summer and their new arrivals were all part of the squad that travelled Down Under on Sunday. With just a few days to acclimatise, Leeds face a busy schedule that seems them play Brisbane first, before matches with Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.
But they showed little signs of rustiness as they got off to a fast start in Brisbane. Indeed, one of their new arrivals, Brenden Aaronson had the ball in the net after just 19 seconds. Sadly for the American and Leeds, the instant strike was ruled out by a linesman’s flag.
The Whites, donning their new kit for the first time, continued to pressurise their opponents. And with their hosts sat deep, it only seemed a matter of time before the breakthrough came.
And Jesse Marsch’s side did not have long to wait before scoring the opener. That came after 23 minutes when skipper-for-the-night, Adam Forshaw, worked the ball wide to Daniel James and he arrowed a powerful low drive into the net.
Two minutes later Leeds doubled their lead with Joe Gelhardt – chosen to lead the line – powerfully headed home at the back post from James’ dinked cross.
Aaronson, playing off the left of the attack, continued to cause issues for the hosts’ defence.
However, Roar brought themselves back into the game five minutes before the interval when Joe Knowles scored to make it 1-2.
Chances for Brisbane to equalise against Leeds
Leeds made a bright start to the second half, putting the pressure on the hosts with Darko Gyabi clipped a ball into the mixer and almost causing an own goal.
Cody Drameh then advanced into shooting range, his effort partially blocked and spinning out for a corner.
Gelhardt then showed his class, weaving and jinking before curling a left-footed effort that sailed just wide of the far post.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 14, 2022
However, Roar were almost level when they cut Leeds apart and a cut-back fell to Jay O’Shea, who drew a fine save from Krisoffer Klaesson.
Luke Ivanovic then got in behind the Leeds United defence, but his effort was tame and Klaesson held on easily.
But Leeds continued to apply the pressure and substitute Patrick Bamford saw a header just go wide after good play between Gyabi and Sam Greenwood.
Bamford then saw another shot turned around for a corner in the closing stages, before Jez Lofthouse spurned a big moment to level the game. With a backheel taking Klaesson out the picture, he twice failed to control with the goal at his mercy, allowing Leeds to clear their lines.
Andthere was to be no further chances as Leeds saw out the 2-1 victory.
First half Leeds side (4-2-3-1): Klaesson; Kristensen, Koch, Struijk, Harrison; Roca, Forshaw; James, Rodrigo, Aaronson, Gelhardt.
Second half Leeds side (4-2-3-1): Klaesson; Drameh, Koch, Struijk, Davis; Adams, Klich; Gyabi, Greenwood, Sinisterra; Gelhardt.