Eric Bautheac stuns Phoenix with brilliant double for Brisbane
Eric Bautheac’s quickfire first half double sparked Brisbane Roar’s 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix in Friday evening’s Hyundai A-League clash.
The former Ligue 1 attacker pounced on some ordinary defending from the visitors twice in the space of five first half minutes to consign Mark Rudan’s side to their second defeat in five days.
Phoenix were blown away by a resounding opening 45 minutes from the Queenslanders, crowned by the Frenchman’s contender for goal of the season – a sensational solo effort - before the 31-year-old clinched his first double on Australian soil with a back-post tap in.
A thumping header from returning Wellington defender Steven Taylor early in the second half brought the New Zealanders back into the contest, but despite dominating possession Phoenix were unable to truly threaten Brisbane keeper Jamie Young.
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Bizarrely, Bautheac was handed his second red card of the campaign deep into stoppage time for a second bookable offence.
Rudan’s side will now enter an all-important top-six clash with Melbourne City next Sunday on the back of consecutive defeats, and will be leapfrogged by either the Victorian outfit or Adelaide United pending the result of Saturday afternoon’s contest.
Ex-Roar stalwart John Aloisi left his post shortly after the last fixture between these two – a 4-1 defeat for Brisbane back in Round 9. Since that fateful evening in the Kiwi capital, the Roar have picked up just nine of the following 42 points available.
But the foundations for just the club’s fourth of the campaign were laid in a frenzied opening in which young speedsters Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Nick D’Agostino menaced and harried the travelling Kiwis.
The high-octane start would produce a flurry of chances. Phoenix keeper Filip Kurto was required to tip Thomas Kristensen’s near-post header away brilliantly, and Bautheac should’ve opened accounts after springing forward on a two-on-one with D’Agostino, only for the Frenchman to horribly drag his finish across the face.
But Bautheac atoned for that error in some fashion, picking up the ball deep inside his own half and exchanging with D’Agostino before leaving a trail of Phoenix players in his wake and lobbing Kurto from an acute angle to break the deadlock.
Wellington, now without a clean sheet in their last nine fixtures, had not covered themselves in glory for the Roar forward’s opener and were once again caught sleepwalking inside their own penalty area when Bautheac tucked Wenzel-Hall’s cross home at the back post to double the advantage soon after.
That was the fifth first half goal the Nix had conceded in five days, and although Taylor brought the Phoenix back into the contest with a crashing header early in the second half they could not mount a fightback until the matches closing stages, which saw Cillian Sheridan crack the foot of the post and David Williams spurn a glorious opportunity after rounding Young.