Roar upset Sydney

The Brisbane Roar have defied a dominant performance from Sydney FC to keep their finals hopes alive after Sergio van Dijk snared a last-minute goal to hand the Roar a 1-0 victory in front of 8613 fans at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Brisbane Roar have defied a dominant performance from Sydney FC to keep their finals hopes alive after Sergio van Dijk snared a last-minute goal to hand the Roar a 1-0 victory in front of 8613 fans at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Sydney, which would have gone to the top of the table with a victory, gave Brisbane keeper Matt Ham plenty of work throughout the match, but failed to convert, leaving a fighting Roar side to take the spoils at the death.

Impressive performances by Michael Zullo, Tommy Oar, Ham and Adam Sarota, as well as their first victory in over a month, will finally give Roar coach Ange Postecoglou something to smile about heading into the last two rounds of competition.

Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka, was left ruing Sydney's many missed opportunities but was philosophical and gracious in defeat.

"Football is cruel, but fair. We created several good opportunities and a couple possibilities to score, but we didn't," said Lavicka.

Meanwhile, Postecoglou was happy to finally give the Orange Army something to cheer about.

"It was a big night for the club, it was our last home game. It's been a tough season for everyone, including the supporters, so I was keen to give them something and keep our finals hopes alive," he said.

Brisbane did the early attacking, but after a quick turnover it was immediately Sydney on the front foot with John Aloisi left open in the box to belt Sydney's first shot just wide.

After a quiet few weeks Oar was looking to impose himself early, driving down the left-hand flank but failing to beat the tight defence of Shannon Cole.

Van Dijk created the first chance for the home side as the Dutch import sent a scud just over the bar from well outside the penalty area after Reinaldo beat a pair of Sydney defenders to lay the ball off.

After 10 minutes the experienced Steve Corica began to assert influence on the game; the Sydney captain cutting the Brisbane defence open with deft passes to give former Socceroo striker John Aloisi a pair of half-chances.

Despite the flow of Sydney possession, Oar was doing his best to turn the tide of momentum.

The 18-year-old latched onto a Reinaldo pass only to skid a long-range, left-footed effort past Sydney keeper Clint Bolton, and into the woodwork.

The match flared into controversy at around the 30-minute mark when a Reinaldo raid was shut down by a charging Bolton who appeared to contact the ball with an arm outside the penalty area.

The seemingly illegal challenge brought the Brisbane crowd roaring to life, but despite animated appeals from Roar skipper Matt McKay, referee Michael Hester waved the incident away.

After a period of back-and-forth play, a scoreless first half was rounded out with another sharp save from under-siege Ham, after a rampant Corica found time to shoot from deep in the Brisbane area.

Brisbane made a positive start to the first half with Reinaldo looking to link up with a slashing Zullo, whose run was impeded by a sloppy Stephan Keller challenge.

Keller earned the first card of the game, but the Roar failed to capitalise on the dead-ball opportunity after van Dijk's effort sailed over the bar.

Cole quickly became the second Sydney man in the ref's book after he too was forced to close down promising play from Brisbane with an unacceptable challenge.

A charged-up Zullo was again brought down by rough Sydney defence, and with no assistance coming from the referee took matters into his own hands, earning a yellow card with a rough retaliatory challenge on Cole.

After a much-improved opening to the second half by the Roar, Sydney began to re-assert itself, again dominating possession, creating chances and forcing quality saves from Ham.

Korean import Sung-Hwan Byun missed another opportunity for Sydney, and two thirds of the way through the game Brisbane made its first change, bringing Henrique onto the field in place of the struggling Steven Bryce.

David Dodd became the next man subbed into the game by Postecoglou, entering at right-back in place of Ivan Franjic, who had only been declared fit on game day.

Aloisi was the next Sydney player to have a shot rebuffed, his bicycle kick from inside the box falling safely to Ham.

Zullo continued to look like one of the few threats to the Sydney side; taking the ball at speed in a sharp counterattack, the dynamic left-footer had a cracking effort parried wide for a corner by a full-stretch Bolton.

With 10 minutes left in the game and the score still deadlocked, the Roar, playing with a touch of desperation, finally began to worry Sydney, with substitutes Henrique and Dodd both registering on-target attempts.

Finally, Brisbane got its breakthrough.

After earning a corner, McKay headed the ball high and Bolton looked to punch clear.

Unfortunately his clearance only reached Collen whose bunted shot deflected off van Dijk's hip and into the net.

The Dutch striker and the entire Roar side celebrated wildly with the home crowd before finally retiring into their own half to defend out the final few minutes.