Goals from Oriol Riera and Mark Bridge fired Western Sydney Wanderers into the top six as they overcame Brisbane Roar 2-0.
Bridge had more than one reason to celebrate too, the striker breaking the appearance record for the Wanderers as well as netting.
It was Roar who started the brighter of the two teams. John Aloisi’s side found particular joy down the right side with some incisive passing moves.
Yet all they could muster from their early dominance were two long range strikes from Fahid Ben Khallfallah and Mitchell Oxborrow, both falling wide of Vedran Janjetovics’ goal.
So it’s fair to say Riera’s opener came against the run of play. Brendon Santalab’s header was blocked, but Riera there to finish the scraps, tapping in for his sixth of the season.
Corey Gameiro had the home sides best chance of the half, controlling a crossfield ball prior seeing his powerful effort blocked by Janjetovic.
With minutes left of the half, Mark Bridge made it two for the away side. After a patient build up, Bridge, who was making his record 126th appearance today, got a yard on Daniel Bowles before beating Jamie Young at his near post.
And while the miniroos were on the pitch at the half time break, John Aloisi was surely having strong words with Brisbane Roar in the dressing room.
However, the tide turned in second 45, with Western Sydney Wanderers seeing most of the ball.
But just as the game passed the hour mark, Roar had their best chance of the game. Gameiro took an excellent touch in the box, before swivelling and seeing his half volley tipped over by the excellent Janjetovic.
Wanderers could’ve and should’ve sealed the game after that. Riera’s flick at the near post was blocked by Young, then soon after the Spannard headed Lusticas free kick wide.
Then substitute Jake Scott hit a powerful shot across goal which Young got a strong hand to. If Brisbane Roar were the better team in the first-half, Western Sydney certainly dominated the second 45.
The away side should have had a penalty when Massimo Maccarone pushed over Santalab when challenging for an aerial ball in the box. The “challenge” left the veteran striker with a bloodied meaning he needed to change his shirt.
Substitute Lachlen Scott hit a powerful shot across goal which Young gets a strong hand to. It’s fair to say that both goalkeepers had a good game overall.
The Wanderers face Adelaide United on Wednesday looking to keep up their 100% record for 2018, while Brisbane Roar face league leaders Sydney on Monday.
Chris Herd watch – The returning Australian put in a good shift in defensive midfield. At one point Herd was unfairly penalised for an excellent sliding tackle. Nevertheless, the former Aston Villa midfielder was substituted on 65 minutes for Lachlan Scott.