Brisbane Roar has collected three vital away points in their opening match of the Hyundai A-League season, leaving it late to beat Wellington Phoenix 2-1 at Westpac Stadium.
After Wellington took a 22nd minute lead through Stein Huysegems, Brisbane made amends with an improved second half performance which saw goals in the first and last 60 seconds.
In the match’s opening stages, it was the home side who surprised their opponents by holding onto the majority of possession and limiting the Roar to their defensive half.
The Phoenix capitalised on their early dominance after defender Michael Boxall did well to head the ball into the path of Huysegems – the Belgian striker slotting the ball past goalkeeper Michael Theo.
Roar striker Besart Berisha had a number of half-chances to bring the match level but it was the versatile Ivan Franjic who had the visitors’ best chance of the first half.
Less than five minutes after Huysegems’ opener, Franjic was gifted space as he took the ball inside the penalty area and was unlucky to hit the post with his resulting shot.
Roar shotstopper Theo was called into action just before the half-time break, denying Wellington’s Costa Rican attacker Kenny Cunningham with a quick save.
After a less than ideal first 45 minutes of the 2013/14 campaign, Brisbane took it up a notch in the second half and found themselves level within a minute of referee Tim McGilchrist’s restart.
Franjic found space down the left wing and played the ball to the unmarked Albanian striker inside the 18-yard box.
German playmaker Thomas Broich proved a handful for the inexperienced Phoenix defence as the game wore on but sent his two best chances at goal straight into the arms of rookie goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley.
A pass from club debutant Liam Miller to Broich allowed the midfielder to strike the woodwork before Franjic reacted quickest to the loose ball to seal the three points for Brisbane in the 92nd minute.
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Stein HUYSEGEMS 22’)
Brisbane Roar 2 (Besart BERISHA 46’, Ivan FRANJIC 90+2’)
Sunday, 13 October 2013
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 5pm local / 3pm AEDT / 2pm AEST
Referee: Tim McGilchrist
Wellington Phoenix: 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Reece CAIRA, 4. Luke ADAMS (13. Albert RIERA 55’), 5. Michael BOXALL, 9. Kenny CUNNINGHAM (8. Paul IFILL 55’), 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS (12. Tyler BOYD 84’), 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 25. Jason HICKS, 30. Jacob SPOONLEY (gk),
Substitutes not used: 24. Hamish WATSON, 40. James McPEAKE (gk).
Yellow cards: Carlos HERNANDEZ 35’, Manny MUSCAT 37’, Jacob SPOONLEY 41’
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA, 11. Liam MILLER, 13. Jade NORTH, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT, 22. Thomas BROICH, 29. Kwame YEBOAH (10. HENRIQUE 62’)
Substitutes not used: 15. James DONACHIE, 20. Matthew ACTON (gk), 26. Corey BROWN, 28. Brandon BORRELLO
Yellow cards: Luke BRATTAN 28’
Red cards: Nil