News

Roar hand Wanderers first loss, go top

Friday, 22 November 2013 10:04 PM
 

Brisbane have returned to the top of the A-League ladder following a hard-fought 3-1 win over Western Sydney in a see-sawing top-of the-table clash at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

First-half strikes from returned stars Besart Berisha and Ivan Franjic proved decisive for the Roar, who withstood a fight back from the visitors before Kwame Yeboah settled the result with a sharp finish in injury time.

Brendon Santalab scored for the Wanderers late in the 28th minute which was his first goal for the club since his off-season move from Chinese side Chongqing Lifan.

However, it wasn't enough to maintain the visitors' undefeated start to the campaign.

The result was Brisbane's fifth win of the season, and first against the Wanderers from five attempts, as Mike Mulvey's side sought to establish their title credentials against a Western Sydney side touted as early-season championship favourites.

Buoyed by the return of star striker Berisha from injury, the Roar took the game to their opponents from the outset - the Albanian striker firing the first shot of the contest wide of the target inside the opening minute.

Berisha went one better only minutes later, beating three defenders with a determined run through the heart of the Wanderers defence before guiding the ball in to the back of the net on the second attempt for the opening goal.

Following the frantic start, the contest settled as Brisbane matched their possession-based game against the Wanderers' more direct style.

Mateo Poljak sort to unlock the Roar backline with a cross-field ball on 17 minutes, but despite getting numbers into the box, the Wanderers were unable to fashion a scoring chance from Mark Bridge's cross.

The visitors were just starting to find their feet before Socceroo Franjic struck a 20-yard screamer from the top of the penalty area to double the hosts' advantage on 19 minutes.

Santalab skewed a volley wide of the target on 22 minutes, before making the breakthrough five minutes later when Bridge intercepted Jade North's ill-considered pass, laying the ball off for Santalab, who finished with a clever chipped shot over the advancing Michael Theo.

Renewed by the goal, Santalab missed the chance to level terms when he headed wide on 31 minutes.

A minute later Thomas Broich blazed over the bar for the hosts after catching a sight of goal at the other end.

A long ball from Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic found Shannon Cole in behind the Roar line late in the half, with Theo again intervening to maintain the Roar's half-time advantage.

The hosts saw the first chance of the second half when Luke Brattan fired a free-kick wide of the target from 20 yards shortly after the restart.

The contest surged from end to end with few genuine chances for either side before the Wanderers struck the crossbar courtesy of a Santalab header on 66 minutes.

The lurking Cole subsequently missed the target with a spectacular overhead attempt on the rebound.

Further chances fell Western Sydney's way as Bridge and Tahj Minniecon shot wide in the final 20 minutes.

A series of corners for the visitors also kept Roar under pressure late in the game.

A tense finish ensued before the 19-year-old Yeboah repeated his heroics against Central Coast Mariners a fortnight ago, breaking down the left flank and cutting inside before striking a fierce shot past Covic with his right foot.

Brisbane Roar 3 (Berisha 5, Franjic 19, Yeboah 90)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Santalab 28)
Crowd: 19,066 @ Suncorp Stadium

 
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