Brisbane Roar have snapped their horror eight-game winless run with a prized victory away to Macarthur FC.
Goals from Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Riku Danzaki either side of half time were enough to give the Roar a 2-1 win at Campbelltown Stadium, while Lachy Rose did manage to pull one back for the home side in the 89th minute.
Macarthur were on a three-match winning streak themselves, but the defeat saw Ante Milicic’s side miss out on an opportunity to move within one point of ladder leaders Central Coast Mariners.
Instead, Macarthur remain third while the result moves Brisbane right back into finals contention.
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It’s a significant turnaround from a team that has struggled to convert their chances.
Macarthur were missing their Spanish attacker Markel Susaeta, who has easily been one of their most influential players this season.
And the home side struggled at the back too, with Brisbane getting in behind their slow defence far too often.
It took just 12 minutes before that defence was breached, when Wenzel-Halls took a shot from outside of the box that had Adam Federici beaten. It was a statement goal from the youngster, who was left out of Brisbane’s starting line-up in their last match, and he went on to celebrate it right in front of the Bull pen.
Macarthur’s defence continued to struggle in the face of Brisbane’s attack and it was only thanks to a couple of squandered chances from Wenzel-Halls that the home side went into the break just the one goal down.
Milicic’s side had it all to do in the second half and they came close to levelling the scores soon after the break.
Mark Milligan came up with Macarthur’s best chance up to that point, a long-range shot from outside the box that Jamie Young did well to tip over the crossbar.
But Brisbane would soon double their lead just before the hour mark when Scott Neville’s storming run down the right found Riku Danzaki, who scored with a tap in to put the home side in real trouble.
Macarthur just couldn’t engineer a goal and just when it looked like they might, Young was up to the task – pulling off a top save from point-blank range to deny Matt Derbyshire.
Rose came off the bench to score his first goal right on stoppage time, but in the end it was the Roar who hung on for the win.
FEDERICI SAVES BLUSHES
Adam Federici has been superb this season, but the goalkeeper wasn’t at his best against Brisbane. Still, it could have been a lot worse when the veteran shot-stopper fumbled then dropped the ball off a routine catch, then watched as it narrowly trickled just wide of his own goal.
In the end it didn’t affect the result, but Brisbane squandered a whole host of chances. Dylan Wenzel-Halls easily could have had a hat-trick, while Golgol Mehbratu should have been on the scoresheet himself. For a team that has struggled to convert their chances this season, a bigger win would have lifted that pressure.