Brisbane Roar has reclaimed top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder with a 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Goals to the returning Besart Berisha, centurion Ivan Franjic and in-from youngster Kwame Yeboah sealed the three points in what was Brisbane’s first victory over the Wanderers in five attempts.
The result also snaps Western Sydney’s unbeaten start to the 2013/14 season.
Berisha, back in the starting eleven for the first time since round two after injuring his hamstring, had a point to prove from the opening whistle and needed less than five minutes to mark his return with an impressive individual effort in front of goal.
Shrugging of the challenge of another Wanderers defender, the Albanian marksman cut inside Western Sydney skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley and after his original strike was blocked by Matthew Spiranovic, he reacted quickest to slot the ball past Ante Covic into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Another moment of individual brilliance put Brisbane 2-0 up in the 19th minute when Franjic commemorated his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance for the club with a stunning volley as the ball fell to him outside the penalty area.
The Wanderers had one back before the break as striker Mark Bridge intercepted a wayward pass from Jade North at the back and teed up Brendan Santalab for an easy finish into the Roar goal.
Brattan swerved a free-kick marginally wide of the post and had a powerful strike blocked by the Western Sydney defenders as Brisbane pushed for a third goal in the second half but it was the visitors who went closest to scoring again through chances from Minniecon and Bridge.
Brisbane sealed the result in the first minute of second half stoppage time through Kwame Yeboah’s second goal in as many games.
The substitute beat the challenge of Topor-Stanley to unleash a right-footed curler into the back of the net to send the 19,066-strong Suncorp Stadium crowd into raptures.
The Roar now face Perth Glory in round eight of the Hyundai A-League next Saturday, also at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane Roar 3 (Besart BERISHA 5’, Ivan FRANJIC 19’, Kwame YEBOAH 90+1’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Brendan SANTALAB 28’)
Friday, 22 November 2013
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 7.00pm local (8:00pm AEDT)
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA (29.Kwame YEBOAH 63’), 10. HENRIQUE (23.Dimitri PETRATOS 70’), 13. Jade NORTH, 17. Matt McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT (15.James DONACHIE 84’), 22. Thomas BROICH, 26. Corey BROWN
Substitutes not used: 14.Diogo FERREIRA, 20.Matthew ACTON (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Shannon COLE (12.Tahj MINNIECON 69’), 3. Adam D’APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Jerome POLENZ, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.Aaron MOOY, 11.Brendon SANTALAB (22. Dean HEFFERNAN 83’), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 21.Shinji ONO (7.Labinot HALITI 42’)
Substitutes not used: 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 20.Jerrad TYSON (gk)
Yellow cards: Adam D’APUZZO 51’
Red cards: Nil