Tale of two strikers: Le Fondre ousts Taggart in crucial Golden Boot face-off

Adam Le Fondre emerged a resounding winner as two of the Hyundai A-League’s sharpest shooters faced off in what could be a vital moment in the race for the Golden Boot.

After firing in his eighth and ninth goals of the season to help Sydney FC defeat Brisbane Roar 2-1 on Saturday night, Le Fondre issued yet another reminder of how crucial a piece he is in the grand scheme of the Hyundai A-League Season 2018/19.

A true match-winner who will undoubtedly earn more points for his side as the season progresses, Le Fondre is now three goals clear of the chasing pack in the Golden Boot race.

In contrast, Le Fondre’s opposite number Adam Taggart couldn’t hold his nerve from the penalty spot and saw his 83rd minute spot kick palmed away by Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne.

The Roar man entered the clash just one goal shy of the former Premier League marksman, but that gap – and indeed the deficit between the two clubs – now looms large.

That moment could prove to be a pivotal one in the Hyundai A-League season – one that influences the fortunes of both Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar.

REPORT: Le Fondre double lifts Sydney FC over resurgent Roar
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Plenty of positives as Roar's worst-ever start continues

There’s no doubting that Saturday’s defeat will sting for Brisbane.

But amid their worst start in Hyundai A-League history and the shock withdrawal of ex-head coach John Aloisi on the eve of kick off, the Roar turned in one of their best displays of the season.

There was plenty to like about Brisbane, who under the energetic tutelage of interim coach Darren Davies played with an energy and graft rarely seen this campaign.

Leading the list of positives was the returning Eric Bautheac, who created a match-high five chances, while the Queenslanders appear to have a real star on their hands in fullback Dane Ingham – one of five players aged 21 or under in the match day squad.

And although he will lament his penalty miss, the Roar faithful might just take solace in the fact they have Taggart on their hands – a talismanic striking force whose proven Hyundai A-League pedigree and prolific record almost ensures swift retribution.