Roar shoot down Reds
Brisbane Roar have extended their unbeaten record to a remarkable 19 matches after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Adelaide United in the top-of-the-table clash at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday night.
Brisbane Roar's unbeaten record has now stretched to an amazing 19 games with a hard fought 1-0 victory over Adelaide United in the top-of-the-table clash at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday night.
A second half strike from Costa Rican Jean Carlos Solorzano was enough to see the visitors take all three points and place one hand on the Premiers' Plate with an 11-point lead on top of the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Roar coach Ange Postecoglou admitted it wasn't Brisbane's most polished performance but equally impressive in the absence of three key players - captain Matt McKay, German import Thomas Broich and full back Ivan Franjic.
"We weren't as slick as we have been," he said.
"It was a different type of performance but considering all the circumstances it was equally impressive. We had lost some players who had played a big part in our year."
Reds coach Rini Coolen acknowledged a commendable display from his side, worthy of a draw, but conceded the final pass lacked polish.
"I think we did well. We did everything we could today," he said.
"It wasn't enough though. A lot of things we did well, only in the last moment, the last touch ... it was the only thing we didn't do well today. Still I think at least a draw was what we deserved."
Brisbane were slow off the mark and it was United who tested Brisbane first when Cassio strode into the box and lashed in a powerful left-foot shot from eight metres.
Roar keeper Michael Theoklitos managed to get his fingers to the ball as it crashed onto the upright and out for a corner.
As the half wore on though, Brisbane improved and after a sluggish opening quarter hour, the visitors were looking dangerous as striker Solorzano gave the host's defence plenty of grief.
Ten minutes before the break, the Costa Rican held off a challenge from Nigel Boogaard and struck a low, well-placed shot that Mark Birighitti got down for and managed to keep out.
The rebound bobbled around the goal mouth before Iain Fyfe eventually cleared the danger.
Adelaide and Brisbane went into the break level but just before the hour, Brisbane carved out another great chance when Solorzano threaded a ball between three United defenders to put Kosta Barbarouses through on goal.
Birighitti rushed out to meet the zippy striker and blocked the shot with the rebound falling for Mitch Nicholls whose overhead kick sailed over the bar.
In the 70th minute Solorzano eventually gave the visitors the lead but not without a slice of luck as he pounced on a ricocheted through ball.
Nicholls was involved again when his pass, intended for Barbarouses, was partially intercepted by Fyfe and fell straight into the path of the Costa Rican.
Solorzano took a touch before firing through the legs of the oncoming Birighitti to notch up his 10th goal of the campaign.
Substitute Henrique nearly doubled Brisbane's advantage in his first game back since Week 5 when he skipped past Cameron Watson and rifled a shot against the post.
The Reds almost drew level 10 minutes from time when Sergio van Dijk got his head to an Iain Ramsay corner, only for the glove of Theoklitos to push the header past Boogaard who was waiting to convert.
United went close again after a miscued long ball out of defence from Fyfe.
The intended switch nearly caught Theoklitos napping but rebounded off the top of the cross bar.
The Reds finished the match with 10 men when Joe Keenan was stretchered off in injury time with a suspected broken leg.
Adelaide United 0 Brisbane Roar 1 Crowd: 14, 420 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide