Brisbane Roar have closed the gap between themselves and first-placed Canberra to just five points after a 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory in their W-League match at Cleveland Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

With Westfield Matildas boss Tom Sermanni in attendance, both sides fought out an even and open first half without tangible reward - though the Roar perhaps had the better of the chances.

Closing the first half with a furious flurry of shots on goal, Brisbane picked up where they left off almost immediately after the interval through substitute Emily Gielnik.

Brought on in the 26th minute for Ashley Spina - who is believed to have injured her anterior cruciate ligament - Gielnik latched onto the end of a long ball from the back and slipped the ball past Victory custodian Cassandra Dimovski.

From there on it was all Brisbane, as the hosts controlled proceedings, snuffed out any chance of a Victory fightback and closed out the match like defending champions should.

The visitors' best chance to restore parity came in injury time, but captain Jodie Taylor's shot was lacking in power and that made for a simple stop from Roar 'keeper Casey Dumont.

Melbourne had their chances early on, but it was the Roar who made the brighter start to the match - and just three minutes in they had a golden opportunity to take an early lead.

After a searching run down the right, Clara Polkinghorne floated in a tidy cross towards Tameka Butt, who was lurking dangerously around the penalty spot.

Fresh off nailing a hat-trick against Perth Glory last weekend, Butt only needed to get a touch on the ball and Dimovski was surely beaten - but the cross was just a touch high and the visitors escaped unpunished.

Five minutes later, Victory broke through for their first real shot on goal of the match through Ashley Brown, but her header was parried away to safety by Dumont.

On the quarter hour mark after some clever combination work by Roar duo Lana Harch and Vedrana Popovic near the right corner flag, Butt had another opportunity but again couldn't get enough purchase on the header.

Melbourne Victory fired a second warning shot in the 21st minute with a quality header from Katrina Gorry, forcing another top-drawer save from Dumont.

As the half wore on though, it was Brisbane who looked the more likely to break the drought and had a number of chances to do so just before the interval.

First, Polkinghorne went close after a Victory clearance rolled into her path, then Butt sent her half-volley shot from a difficult pass well over the bar, and finally Joanne Burgess' curling effort fell just wide - meaning both sides would have to be satisfied with a 0-0 scoreline at the break.

But it wouldn't stay that way for long and thanks to Gielnik, the deadlock broke just two minutes into the second half.

Brisbane Roar 1 (Gielnik 47)
Melbourne Victory 0