Roar claim local derby

Saturday, 22 October 2011 3:00 PM

Brisbane have continued their perfect start to their Hyundai A-League title defence with a comprehensive 3-0 derby victory over Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

In front of 13,425, the Roar were made to work for every inch of field position, but the reward for their labour was an opening goal in the 13th minute from Erik Paartalu and second-half deal-sealers from Besart Berisha and Mitch Nichols.

United were committed and competitive as coach Miron Bleiberg had promised in the build-up to the heavyweight clash, but Brisbane were able to play through some uncharacteristic flat spots and stride home in the final half hour to reaffirm their place as Queensland's top side.

In a bright spot for the visitors, Dutch import Maceo Rigters had an eye-catching display in his Hyundai A-League debut, providing for his teammates and creating chances of his own with some genuine attacking flair.

Brisbane's first half saw them finish with two-thirds of the ball possession but four less penalty area entries, and it wasn't until coach Ange Postecoglou brought on Massimo Murdocca and Kofi Danning in the 58th minute that the side truly seemed to break the shackles.

Murdocca was particularly impressive, lifting the Roar's forward momentum, picking up an assist and forcing a spectacular save from Glen Moss with a shot of his own seconds before the full-time whistle.

Brisbane took the opener through a perfectly executed set-piece in the 13th minute, with German midfield star Thomas Broich curling an inch-perfect free kick into the area and onto the head of Paartalu, who steered his shot past Moss and into the top left corner.

But the deficit looked to spur United and they put together their best stretch of football for the game.

In the 21st minute the visitors went desperately close to what would have been a pivotal equaliser, as Dylan Macallister directed a great cross from Rigters past Theoklitos only to be denied by the crossbar.

Brisbane snapped from their momentary slumber at the half hour mark, answering the United attacks with sharp efforts of their own through Nichols and then Paartalu, who went perilously close to claiming a first-half double with a second header from a corner.

Dylan McGowan was collected by Henrique in the final moments of the first 45 and despite retaking his position to close out the half, the collision saw the young central defender replaced by Kristian Rees during the interval.

Although they opened the second half quietly, Postecoglou's 58th minute double change had an immediate impact, with crowd favourite Murdocca using one of his first touches to play Berisha into the area for 2-0 lead.

The second goal seemed to break United's resolve, and as the match wore on Brisbane took tighter and tighter control, putting the contest beyond all doubt when Berisha played Nichols in for the third.

The final 10 minutes were an exhibition of Brisbane's strength as Paartalu shook the woodwork with a 25-yard thunderbolt and Murdocca nearly made it four with his own rocket from the top of the area.

Brisbane:3 (Paartalu 13, Berisha 60, Nichols 78)
Gold Coast: 0
Crowd: 13,425

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