Jamie Maclaren’s genius second-half strike has secured Brisbane Roar a vital 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium and sent the Premiers Plate to Sydney FC.
Maclaren’s instinctive 51st minute effort proved the difference in a tense encounter, ending Victory’s hopes of denying the Sky Blues a second premiership in Hyundai A-League history.
Roar dominated the opening 45 minutes against a depleted Victory as both Brett Holman and Jack Hingert came close to an opener.
The hosts needed some inspiration to break the deadlock and got it when, out of nothing, Maclaren outmanoeuvred two defenders on a long-ball and looped a poacher’s strike over a stranded Lawrence Thomas.
The in-form striker should have added a second just after the hour and was almost made to pay when Jason Geria transpired to miss what seemed a certain goal.
John Aloisi’s side held on under increasing scrutiny to move level on points with Melbourne City, while doing a rare favour for their New Souths Wales rivals.
1-0 Roar: Maclaren, 51’
This was a goal of pure poacher’s instinct as Maclaren wedged himself between two defenders and expertly first-timed a dipping effort over a slightly advanced Lawrence Thomas.
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