Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brisbane roar to top of A-League standings with win over Phoenix

Brisbane Roar went to the top of the A-League standings last night when they beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0 at home at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane before just over 7,000 fans.

It was the Roar’s third consecutive win, while Wellington have yet to win a match at Suncorp in six outings there. They have now lost five and drawn one at that venue.

Ironically, the goal came from former Wellington player Kosta Barbarouses in the 73rd minute, following good play on the left by Reinaldo and Shane Stefanutto and then a neat one-two between Matt McKay and Barbarouses just outside the box.

It was only his third A-League goal and his first for Brisbane. Barbarouses missed out on World Cup selection for New Zealand and was keen to impress Wellington and All-Whites coach Ricki Herbert. Well, he did just that with his fine goal.

Wellington went close to scoring on two occasions in the opening half. In the 4th minute, Paul Ifill found Dylan MacAllister, whose shot from the right was parried wide for a corner by Brisbane keeper Michael Theoklitos. From the corner, MacAllister placed a header wide.

In the 34th minute, MacAllister again got onto the end of a Leo Bertos corner and his header was flicked on inside the 6-yard box by Chris Greenacre, but Theoklitos’s sharp reflexes enabled him to punch the ball clear.

Brisbane had more of the possession, but it took them until the closing minutes of the first half to create a couple of scoring chances.

In the 42nd minute, keeper Mark Paston saved brilliantly from Mitch Nichols in a one-on-one situation after Nichols had been put through on the left by a wonderful Barbarouses flick.

On the stroke of half-time, Paston produced another brilliant save from Thomas Broich after a perfect through-ball by Henrique.

Wellington had some good chances in the second half, but were unable to beat Theoklitos.

In the 55th minute, an Ifill lob over the shoulder from wide on the right threatened to sneak in under the bar but the ball landed just on top of the net.

In the 74th minute, seconds after Brisbane had hit the front, Ifill again provided the danger but was denied by the excellent Theoklitos.

Theoklitos again came to Brisbane’s rescue in the 83rd minute when a Mirjan Pavlovic shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper.

This loss was Wellington’s first defeat of the season. Wellington have now won only 8 games in 36 away trips in the A-League.

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