Brisbane Roar 3-2 Perth Glory
Brisbane Roar increased their lead at the top of the A-League ladder over second-placed Adelaide United to 6 points after downing 9th-ranked Perth Glory 3-2 at home at Suncorp Stadium last night.
Brisbane led 2-0 through goals by Jean Carlos Solorzano and Matt Smith before substitute Robbie Fowler pulled a goal back with a penalty with his first touch of the ball.
Solorzano restored Brisbane’s two-goal buffer with a penalty, but when Adriano Pellegrino scored with a pile-driver from long range, it made for a tense finish.
Perth suffered an early set-back when defender Naum Sekulovski went off injured after just 13 minutes.
The visitors were shown the first yellow card, too, when Andrija Jukic was booked in the 25th minute, and it became clear they were up against it.
On the half-hour, the Roar launched a fine attack that ended with Ivan Franjic shooting over the bar from an angle on the right.
A minute later, Thomas Broich shot narrowly wide of the Perth goal after cutting in from the left.
Perth keeper Tando Velaphi was booked in the 33rd minute for time wasting and it was obvious the visitors were overawed and keen to maintain the status quo.
But, four minutes before the break, the home side took the lead. Kosta Barbarouses played the ball through for Solorzano, and when Jamie Coyne partially cleared, Solorzano regained possession and slotted the ball home from an angle on the right.
Velaphi was at his best in the 52nd minute as he saved Perth’s skin. A clever back-heel by Solorzano found Broich, who cut into the box on the left and played the ball back into the path of Matt McKay, whose shot was saved by the Perth custodian. The ball fell to Massimo Murdocca, playing his 100th A-League game for Brisbane, but Velaphi saved his shot, too.
The pressure applied by the home side paid off 5 minute later, however, as Broich’s corner from the left aimed at the far side of the box was headed home powerfully by Smith to make it 2-0.
Fowler replaced Jukic in the 65th minute and when Luke DeVere handled the ball, the former Liverpool star netted from the penalty to make it one goal the difference.
Fifteen minutes from the end, Scott Neville conceded a penalty for a foul on Solorzano. It warranted a yellow card and, given that it was his second of the match, off he went. Solorzano netted from the spot-kick for his second goal of the game to give Brisbane a 3-1 lead.
With 7 minutes remaining, Pellegrino struck an unstoppable shot past Michael Theoklitos from all of 35 metres to make for a tense finish, but Brisbane held on for the three points.
Perth’s misery was completed when Josh Mitchell was shown a straight red in the 2nd minute of stoppage time for a foul on Reinaldo.
Brisbane Roar: Theoklitos - Susak, DeVere, Smith, Franjic - Paartalu, Murdocca, McKay - Barbarouses, Broich, Solorzano
Goals: Solorzano 41, 76 pen, Smith 57
Perth Glory: Velaphi - Coyne, Neville, Mitchell, Sekulovski - Amphlett, Burns, Fondyke, Howarth - Jukic, Jelic
Booked: Jukic, Velaphi, Neville
Send off: Neville, Mitchell
Ref: M Gillett