Brisbane Roar has secured a very valuable three points on the road, courtesy of a dominant 1-0 win at Hindmarsh Stadium over Adelaide United.
Controlling much of the game as the most threatening team on the park looked like it may not be enough for Brisbane as the match headed into the final 10 minutes, but a superbly taken goal by substitute Ben Halloran meant the Roar would return home as worthy winners.
Brisbane nearly took the lead on 12 minutes when Ivan Franjic threw himself at a curling Luke Brattan free-kick inside the box, but amazingly his diving header hit the inside of both posts, as well as Eugene Galekovic before bouncing away from danger.
Franjic then tried his luck with his foot with a well-struck headed for the bottom corner before Galekovic made a fine save low to his right.
Brisbane continued to put the pressure on the home side as the half wore on, but some resolute defending from the men in Red was holding them at bay.
Nijland was next to threaten, from the dead ball, but hit his shot into the side netting.
Besart Berisha then found the ball at his feet after a Franjic cross cannoned off two defenders, but his point blank shot was saved by the foot of Galekovic.
The Albanian striker was then denied a penalty by referee Shaun Evans as Brisbane kept Adelaide pinned back in their own half.
Broich and Berisha both benefited from crosses from the wings, but both sent their efforts to just to the right of Galekovic’s goal.
However, the Reds held firm to see themselves to half-time with the scores locked at 0-0.
Brisbane picked up where it left off at the start of the second half, with Broich unleashing a stinging shot headed for goal, but Galekovic again was able to palm the ball away from danger.
Berisha was then finally awarded a penalty when he was brought down by Osama Malik in the box, but couldn’t make the most of the effort as he sent his shot onto the post and Steven Lustica couldn’t put the rebound away.
Tomi Juric attempted to put his side in front just before the hour mark with a strong strike from 25m, but Michael Theo was equal to the task of keeping the ball out of the goal.
Both sides looked for opportunities on goal from distance, but neither keeper was tested by any of the efforts.
With eight minutes to play Brisbane finally took the lead through Halloran.
Berisha gathered the ball on the edge of the box and held off two defenders before laying it into the path of Halloran wide in the box for the winger to pass the ball into the far bottom corner.
Adelaide attempted to respond, but Brisbane held strong for the positive result.
Head Coach Mike Mulvey was justifiably proud of the result which keeps Brisbane well in the hunt for a top six finish.
"We're thankful for a win," Mulvey said.
"It's the business end of the season and it has been well documented that we're not happy with where we are.
"We're trying to do something about it and we've been working very hard.
"I think you've seen some of the fruits of our labour today.
"We played some good football. I was very happy with the ball retention in the first half, we got some penetration, we got overlaps in the wide areas, we got our rotations happening, we created chances.
"The only thing missing was the killer instinct, but that's about as dominant 1-0 win that I've been involved in for awhile."
Adelaide United 0
Brisbane Roar 1 (Halloran 82’)
at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
Referee: Shaun Evans
Adelaide United: 1. Eugene Galekovic (GK – capt), 2. Osama Malik, 3. Nigel Boogard, 6 Cassio, 8. Marcello Carrusca, 10. Dario Vidosic, 12. Antony Golec, 14. Cameron Watson (16. Daniel Bowles 60’), 21. Jeronimo Neumann (17. Iain Ramsay), 24. Awer Mabil (23. Evan Kostopolous 75’), 25. Tomi Juric.
Substitutes not used: 20. Paul Izzo (GK).
Yellow cards: Malik (51’)
Red cards: Malik (90’+1)
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael Theo (GK), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 9. Stef Nijland (10. Henrique 77’), 13. Jade North, 14. Steven Lustica (17. Mitch Nichols 77’), 15. James Donachie, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert (11. Ben Halloran 69’), 22. Thomas Broich (capt).
Substitutes not used: 20 Matt Acton (GK).
Yellow cards: Hingert (21’), Brattan (42’), Franjic (49’)
Red cards: Nil