Van Dijk leads Roar to victory

A hat-trick from inform Dutch striker Sergio van Dijk has seen Queensland Roar claim a 3-1 victory over Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium, slamming the door shut on the Sky Blues' slim hopes of competing in A-League finals action.

A hat-trick from inform Dutch striker Sergio van Dijk has seen Queensland Roar claim a 3-1 victory over Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium, slamming the door shut on the Sky Blues' slim hopes of competing in A-League finals action.

The visitors, needing a win to keep their season alive, started lively and a headed goal from 17-year-old Kofi Danning kept them in the hunt after van Dijk's 14th minute strike.

But van Dijk took just four minutes to grab his brace, finding space in the box behind Zach Cairncross and latching onto a long ball from Craig Moore to see his side reclaim the lead.

Sydney continued to press and while the visitors had plenty of possession for the remainder of the game, they could not turn their chances into goals, with van Dijk adding insult to injury in extra time.

Freed up by a good run from the returning Charlie Miller, van Dijk nabbed the first ever hat-trick in the Roar's history when he sent a searing strike from the edge of the box screaming into the back of the net for his 10th goal for the season.

The win, the Roar's fourth on the trot at home, keeps Queensland in the race for a coveted top-two finish, the Brisbane-based club sits third on the ladder with 33 points, trailing Melbourne Victory (35) and Adelaide United (34), although the Reds do have a game in hand.

Roar coach Frank Farina was content to still be in contention for a double finals chance.

"Sydney had a lot of young players out there tonight and I think most probably in the end our experience shone through," he said.

"Still in with a chance (for a top two finish), depending on other results, but we've got ourselves in that position, with one final game at home against Perth."

"I'm not going to say it's in our hands, but depending on results, there's other big games next weekend … we're in a good position."

Sydney coach John Kosmina was happy with the way his side played.

"Especially the second half, to come out 2-1 down, the first goal we recovered well from it, scored a nice one," Kosmina said.

"In the second half I thought some of the combination play when we went forward, especially with Rhyan (Grant) , Kofi (Danning) and Brendan (Gan), was really good to watch."

"On merit we can look at the games that we tossed away, whether it's poor form or poor play or whatever, we don-t deserve to be in the finals."

A boisterous crowd of 19, 111, the best in Brisbane for the season, was on hand to see the two sides played out a frantic first half, with the first three goals coming in a turbo-charged 14 minutes of football.

Stuart Musialik and Danning, who loomed large up front for most of the night, had handy chances to put Sydney FC in front early on, but it was van Dijk who slammed home a well-earned team goal in the 14th minute.

Michael Zullo freed up Matt McKay who, tucked up tightly on the line, delivered an excellent sliding cross straight to Mitch Nichols.

Nichols' strike was on-target, and while Sky Blues keeper Ivan Necevski was able to make a scrambling save, van Dijk pounced quickly on the spilt ball.

The visitors had an excellent chance to level the scores in 20th min when Danning peeled off a sizzling strike from inside the box that Roar custodian Griffin McMaster could only deflect towards his goal.

Rhyan Grant looked to tap in the easiest of goals, but Andrew Packer made a desperate sliding clearance right off the line.

The visitors continued to build and after tipping over a curling dead-ball strike from Iain Fyfe, McMaster was finally beaten by a firmly struck header from Danning, only for van Dijk to net a quick reply.

Sydney looked to attack after half time, but it was the home side which had two good chances early on, with van Dijk coming close to a hat-trick and a booming Nichols shot just sneaking over the crossbar.

Craig Moore was handed a yellow card in the 67th for a challenge on Simon Colosimo, it was Moore's fourth for the season, ensuring the Socceroos veteran will be walking on eggshells next weekend.

The match started to turn physical towards the end, with referee Craig Zetter dishing out cautions to Colosimo (69th minute) and van Dijk (84th minute), before giving Cairncross his marching orders in the 87th minute.

Zetter issued a direct red card to Cairncross after the 19-year-old went in boots up in a spirited challenge on Andrew Packer

Match Details

Queensland Roar 3 (van Dijk 14', 28', 90+3') Sydney FC 1 (Danning 25')

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Crowd: 19, 111 Referee: Craig Zetter