Lustica, Maclaren fire Roar past Phoenix
Brisbane Roar have come from behind to defeat Wellington Phoenix 2-1 at Cazaly’s Stadium as Cairns hosted their first ever A-League game.
The Phoenix broke the deadlock late in the first half as Roy Krishna scored his fourth goal of the season. But all the entertainment was in the second half as Steven Lustica and Jamie Maclaren both found the back of the net to secure the three points for the Roar.
John Aloisi made no alterations to his starting eleven as the Roar went in search of their first win since Round 6.
Meanwhile, Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick made two changes to the side that defeated Melbourne Victory last week. Alex Rufer was handed his first A-League start with Vince Lia ruled out with a hamstring injury, whilst Matthew Ridenton replaced Tom Doyle at left-back.
Brisbane bossed the early stages of the game as they dominated the midfield and tested the Phoenix defence on multiple occasions.
Thomas Broich had the first real opportunity of the first half for the home side in the 35th minute as Henrique played in a low cross to pick out Broich who had plenty of time and space to measure his shot, but the resulting effort was saved by Glen Moss.
The Phoenix began to find their feet towards the end of the first half with Krishna and Bonevacia both conducting the play and creating chances.
The opening goal finally arrived in first half stoppage time from Wellington’s Roy Krishna. The Fijian utilized his sublime dribbling ability to beat Jack Hingert and released a powerful strike on goal which beat keeper Jamie Young at his near post.
The teams went into half-time after a reasonably quiet first period with Roy Krishna snatching a goal in injury time to give the Phoenix a 1-0 lead over the Roar at the break.
Returning in the second half, the Phoenix had a golden chance to double their lead early on as Roly Bonevacia broke away from the Brisbane defence, creating a one-on-one opportunity with Jamie Young. However, the move was foiled after Roar defender Jade North made an incredible run to get back and dispossess Bonevacia of the ball.
Towards the hour mark, the game began to break wide open with both sides producing goal-scoring opportunities.
The 61st minute saw Jamie Maclaren come close to an equalizer as he turned into the box after receiving a pass from Stefanutto and fired a left-footed strike at goal, but the shot sailed high of the target.
Wellington hit back moments later after Jeffery Sarpong released Krishna who broke away on goal, but Jamie Young did superbly well to hold out the shot.
Brisbane Roar eventually found their equalizer in the 71st minute after some clinical counter-attacking football. It was two of Brisbane’s substitutes who combined for the goal as Jean Carlos Solorzano cut the ball back for Steven Lustica who burst into the box and lashed his shot into the roof of the net to tie the game at 1-1, setting up an entertaining final period.
Lustica’s goal sparked the Roar to life as they surged forward, determined to score a winner.
Jamie Maclaren had a multitude of chances in front of goal, but couldn’t find the back of the net as Phoenix’s defence and keeper Glen Moss tried desperately to hold off the assault from Brisbane.
With the Roar throwing numbers forward, the Phoenix almost caught them out on the counter in the 77th minute as Roy Krishna once again used his lightning pace to get forward as he released left-footed shot on target, but Jamie Young remained composed to save the effort.
Brisbane attacking forays eventually paid off as Jamie Maclaren finally scored the goal he deserved in the 86th minute. A forward pass from Thomas Broich found Maclaren who timed his run perfectly to break past the Wellington defence and place the shot past the oncoming Glen Moss and into the back of the net.
Jarred Gillet called full-time as Brisbane Roar’s second half comeback lead them to a 2-1 victory over the Wellington Phoenix.
The Roar now face the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium in Round 11, whilst Wellington return home to host Sydney FC.
|Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes|
|3||Roy Krishna (Wellington Phoenix)|
|2||Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar)|
|1||Thomas Broich (Brisbane Roar)|