Van Dijk sinks Sydney

A deft header late in the piece from Brisbane striker Sergio van Dijk has seen the Roar triumph 1-0 over Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

A deft header late in the piece from Brisbane striker Sergio van Dijk has seen the Roar triumph 1-0 over Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

Despite both sides having a multitude of chances to break the deadlock, the match seemed destined for a scoreless draw until the 85th minute when the Dutchman leapt high over Simon Colosimo and sent the ball sizzling past Sky Blues keeper Clint Bolton.

It was a deserving outcome for a slick passage of play, with Scottish playmaker Charlie Miller looping a cross in to Roar skipper Craig Moore, who nodded it across goal to van Dijk.

The result has seen a genuine bottleneck develop at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Gold Coast United, Perth Glory and Sydney FC all have a share of the lead with 13 points, while the Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory and the Roar are all nipping at their heels on 12 points.

The first half was played at a lively tempo and saw chances fall regularly for both sides, but it was the visitors who looked the most likely.

Some fantastic work in the middle, more often than not coming from Steve Corica, saw strikers Alex Brosque and Mark Bridge find space in dangerous positions, but the pair, while imperious, were always unable to finish clinically.

The duo fell short when it came to finding the back of the net - best signified by a brilliant set-piece in the 43rd minute that saw Bridge find a paddock of space in the box , but fail to make any connection with the pinpoint cross that was sent in by Shannon Cole.

Bridge continued to run amok up front in the second stanza, and had another fantastic opportunity to break the deadlock in the 60th minute, but his well-struck header flew high over the crossbar.

Brisbane coach Frank Farina - in charge for his 150th game at Hyundai A-League/NSL level - was content to see his side withstand the barrage of chances.

"We knew as a team that it was going to be a grind, a battle - I think in all of Sydney's games this year, they've played in that manner," Farina said.

"They defend well, they're well organised and they pressurise in the midfield - and it was a bit of an arm wrestle."

Sydney FC counterpart Vitezslav Lavicka admitted it was frustrating to finish empty-handed after matching it with the Roar for the majority of the contest.

"The game was equalised for most of the minutes - but I think we created a couple of good opportunities, but we lost the concentration and our opponent punished us," Lavicka said.

The Roar were not without hope in what was a fairly even opening half - Miller was influential, while Brazilians Reinaldo and Henrique had a bevy of chances.

Aside from cries for a penalty after an alleged Colosimo hand-ball in the opening stages of the second half, the hosts' greatest claim to an equaliser came from one of the most unlikely of sources in the 65th minute.

Ivan Franjic fired in a looping cross to fellow defender Josh McCloughan, who made sweet connection with a diving header.

However Bolton was up to the task, diving to his right and colliding with the post, but still managing to make a fingertip save.

Brisbane Roar 1 (van Dijk 85) Sydney FC 0 Crowd: 7,677 at Suncorp Stadium