A goal in either half has helped Sydney FC to a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar at Allianz Stadium.
The loss was a bitter pill to swallow for Brisbane, after controlling large periods of the second half and going close to scoring on a number of occasions themselves.
Brisbane found itself behind after just six minutes when Alessandro Del Piero pounced on a loose ball outside the box and, allowed to make his way into the danger area, he beat Theo with a shot from 10m out.
Stef Nijland looked to reply for the Roar early when he made a strong run at the Sydney penalty area, but his well-struck shot was well saved low by Vedran Janjetovic.
Mitch Nichols was then denied a goal by a fine fingertip save from Janjetovic after a good team move around the box by the Roar allowed the wide man to get on the end of a Jack Hingert cross.
After dominating proceedings for most of the half, Brisbane finally got the goal they’d threatened right on the cusp of half time when Besart Berisha scored his 11th of the season when he emphatically converted a penalty won by Nijland.
Nijland reacted first to a bouncing ball after Janjetovic had once again denied Nichols with a good save, the Dutchman subsequently brought down by Fabio before Berisha buried the spot kick into the top corner.
Brisbane started the second half strongly and Berisha looked for his second with six minutes gone in the half but he curled his shot just wide from the edge of the box.
Theo had to make a save from Abbas and then down the other end Janjetovic had to save from Broich as the game opened up midway through the half.
Nijland nearly opened his Brisbane Roar account on 62 minutes when he curled a shot from the edge of the box, after some excellent defensive work in the opposition penalty area by Nichols, but his effort grazed the outside of the post.
However it was Sydney who scored next with Peter Triantis unleashing an unstoppable shot from just outside the box into the bottom corner seven minutes later.
Brisbane tried desperately to draw level, but it was Sydney who nearly went further ahead when Del Piero thundered his free-kick against the bar.
It was to be the last genuine chance of the match as the hosts took all three points.
Brisbane Roar Head Coach Mike Mulvey said he was encouraged by the effort of his players despite finding themselves behind twice in the match.
“It was disappointing from a result perspective,” Mulvey said.
“Taking it back to the beginning, our structure wasn’t very good playing out and Sydney were able to pen us in a little bit.
“We caused our own problems at times, conceding that goal, but I think we deservedly got back into the game.
“For the better part of the second half I really thought we bossed the game.”
Sydney FC (Del Piero 6’, Triantis 69’)
Brisbane Roar (Berisha 45’+1)
at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Ben Williams
Sydney FC: 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Fabio, 7. Brett Eerton (capt), 8. Adam Griffiths, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 12. Blake Powell (16. Joel Chianese 59’), 13. Tiago Calvano, 20. Vedran Janjetovic (GK), 22. Ali Abbas (17. Terry Antonis 59’), 23. Rhyan Grant, 26. Peter Triantis.
Subsitutes not used: 1. Ivan Necevski (GK), 9. Paul Reid.
Yellow cards: Emerton (15’), Janjetovic (45’), Abbas (49’), Chianese (80’)
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael Theo, 3. Shane Stefanutto (15. James Donachie 69’), 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 9. Stef Nijland (25. George Lambadaridis 75’), 13. Jade North, 14. Steven Lustica, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan (11. Ben Halloran 72’), 19. Jack Hingert, 22. Thomas Broich (capt).
Substitutes not used: 20. Matt Acton (GK).
Yellow cards: North (35’), Berisha (88’)
Red cards: Nil