Brisbane Roar has recorded back-to-back 2-0 away wins with a convincing performance against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
A vital three points which puts Brisbane back into second place behind Hyundai A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners, Roar’s performance gave hints they are returning to something near their best form.
Ivan Franjic had the best opening chance from the early stages of the match when he was found by an Henrique cross from the right, but his shot took a deflection and flew safely away from Mark Paston’s goal.
Wellington sprung immediately down the other end with Leo Bertos forcing a save from Michael Theoklitos on the near post having been released down the left by Paul Ifill.
Wellington set their stall in the first half as a compact defensive unit, playing on the counter and the Roar found it difficult to penetrate the home side’s defensive wall on the edge of the penalty area.
Alex Smith had a good chance to make Brisbane pay for their inability to break the Phoenix down when he found himself on the end of an Ifill cut back on the edge of the box but blasted his effort well over the bar.
Brisbane did take the lead on 42 minutes when Besart Berisha put away his 13th goal of the season.
Midfielder Erik Paartalu floated a ball over the Wellington defensive lines for Berisha who coolly volleyed the ball into the bottom corner of Paston’s goal.
Wellington came out looking for an equaliser early in the second half, Ifill played through, but despite being clear of Stefanutto couldn’t beat Theoklitos who made a smart, low save.
Theoklitos nearly played himself into some trouble just before the hour mark when he scuffed a clearance which fell to Paul Greenacre, but the Wellington attacker hit his volley just wide of the open goal from distance.
Henrique and Broich both had shots from distance, but both pulled their shots wide of the mark as the away side attempted to get themselves back in control of the contest.
Right on 65 minutes Wellington had a great opportunity to level the scoreline when Dani Sanchez found himself on the end of a Tony Lochhead cross, but head could only head directly at Theoklitos.
Erik Paartalu then forced Paston into a strong save with a swerving shot from outside of the box, the same player then had a free header from a Broich free kick but headed straight into the arms of the Wellington keeper.
Brisbane nearly conceded the strangest goal of the season when Theoklitos missed a punched clearance and Broich almost toed the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Mitch Nichols, on a substitute, then scored one of Brisbane’s goals of the season with a rasping strike into the top corner from a Franjic cutback to the top of the box.
Ifill looked to drag his side back into the match with a great run and shot, but again Theoklitos was up to the task of keeping the Wellington striker at bay.
End-to-end action was the order of the day with Broich, courtesy of the aid of a deflection, going close at the other end foiled only by an amazing reflex save by Paston.
However no more goals were scored and Brisbane banked another important three points on the road.
Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecogou was pleased with a result which meant his side leapfrogged Phoenix into second spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
“I thought we did play well,” Postecoglou said.
“Phoenix made it hard for us, they’re a good side and at home with a big crowd we knew it was going to be a tough encounter.
“I thought we were really patient in the first half, controlled the game and took our goals really well I thought they were two quality goals.
“Maybe we could have played a little bit smarter in the second half and picked them off a little more.
“To come here and get a two nil win with a good performance was pleasing.”
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Referees: Jared Gillett
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark Paston (GK), 3. Tony Lochhead, 6. Tim Brown, 7. Leo Bertos (11. Daniel 63’), 8. Paul Ifill, 9. Chris Greenacre,17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund (14. Mirhan Pavlovic 78’), 21. Dani Sanchez, 22. Andrew Durante (C), 24. Alex Smith
Substitutes not used: 19. James Downey, 20. Tony Warner (GK)
Yellow cards: Vince Lia (28’), Andrew Durante (85’)
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2. Matt Smith (C), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique (21. James Meyer 68’), 16. Mohamed Adnan, 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald (17. Mitch Nichols 63’)
Substitutes not used: 12. Matt Mundy, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK)
Yellow cards: Mohamed Adnan (37’), Shane Stefanutto (50’), Matt Smith (68’)
Reds cards: Nil