Ivan Franjic has scored Brisbane Roar’s winning goal against Wellington Phoenix for the second time this season, sealing today’s 2-1 victory at Westpac Stadium with a stunning strike.
Franjic was the hero in the opening round of the Hyundai A-League campaign, scoring a 94th minute winner against the Phoenix, and his goal today also proved the decisive factor as the Roar were made to work for another vital set of three points on the road.
The away side had to wait almost 18 minutes for their first proper chance at goal as in-form striker Besart Berisha scuffed a shot wide of the woodwork after the ball scrambled around the goal mouth, following a set piece delivery from Thomas Broich.
Brisbane were lucky not to be 1-0 down just before the half hour mark as Phoenix striker Jeremy Brockie came up with an incredible miss inside the six yard box.
His lively teammate Stein Huysegems cut inside Roar defender James Donachie struck a shot from the left with unmarked Brockie side-footing the rebound from Michael Theo’s diving save over the open goal.
It proved costly as Brisbane took the lead not long after through captain Matt Smith’s third goal of the Hyundai A-League season.
As Broich delivered a free kick towards the far post, Smith outmuscled the challenge of fellow defender Ben Sigmund to roll the ball past Glen Moss in the Phoenix goal with a right foot touch.
Brisbane remained comfortably in control for the rest of the half and could have had a bigger advantage if not for Wellington captain Andrew Durante who blocked shots from Ivan Franjic and Berisha with his head.
The score was again level inside the first two minutes of the second half after Kenny Cunningham fell inside the area and Carlos Hernandez stepped up to the penalty spot to score his first goal of the Hyundai A-League season.
Referee Shaun Evans then awarded a penalty at the opposite end for a foul on Jack Hingert but Moss saved Berisha’s effort from the spot and and Matt McKay’s rebound flew wide of the upright, leaving the score at 1-1.
There were chances for both sides to snatch a late victory but it took something special from Franjic to give Brisbane their fourth win in a row.
Cutting inside Manny Muscat on the very edge of the penalty box, Franjic unleashed a left-footed curler past Moss into the back of the net in the 75th minute.
Brisbane now face Newcastle Jets – the last team to defeat the current league leaders – next Friday, 20 December at Suncorp Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Carlos HERNANDEZ 47(p)’)
Brisbane Roar 2 (Matt SMITH 37’, Ivan FRANJIC 75’)
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 5.30pm local time / 2.30pm Brisbane time
Referee: Shaun Evans
Wellington Phoenix: 1. Glen MOSS (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 9. Kenny CUNNINGHAM (15. Jason HICKS 71’), 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS, 11. Jeremy BROCKIE (8. Paul IFILL 68’), 13. Albert RIERA, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c)
Substitutes not used: 5. Michael BOXALL, 6. Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH, 20. Lewis ITALIANO (gk)
Yellow cards: Ben SIGMUND 14’, Andrew DURANTE 17’, Jeremy BROCKIE 45+1’
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 5. Ivan FRANJIC (29. Kwame YEBOAH 88’), 7. Besart BERISHA, 11. Liam MILLER (23. Dimitri PETRATOS 72’), 15. James DONACHIE, 17. Matthew McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT, 22. Thomas BROICH, 26. Corey BROWN
Substitutes not used: 10. HENRIQUE, 14. Diogo FERREIRA, 20. Matthew ACTON (gk),
Yellow cards: Besart BERISHA 33’
Red cards: Nil