New Roar cult hero James Meyer was the decisive player for the Brisbane club when he scored twice late in an otherwise lacklustre match to enabled Ange Postecoglou’s men to go nine points clear of second-placed Central Coast Mariners.
The match marked young Roar defender Luke DeVere’s last match for the club as he sets off for Korea whilst it also notched up their 22nd game unbeaten, equaling an Australian national league record which has stood since 1987.
The seventh-placed Phoenix missed a good chance to at least grab a draw to enhance their chance of moving into the top six and they will now have to beat the visiting Newcastle Jets this weekend, who sit a point behind them in eighth place.
Venue: Skilled Park, Robina
Referee: Ryan Shepheard
Yellow cards: BR - James Meyer 75’
WP - Tim Brown 19’, Vince Lia 36’, Manny Muscat 80’
A fairly slow start to the match saw the Phoenix have the first half decent chance in the 14th minute when Dylan Macallister shot slightly wide but other than that there was little happening at Skilled Park.
The visitors were causing a few problems for the league leaders although the opening half-hour provided a modest amount of shots on goal with Roar keeper Michael Theoklitos making two saves whilst Phoenix’s Danny Vukovic was vastly unchallenged.
Brisbane had a late chance in the first half when Mitch Nichols found Ivan Franjic whose chested attempt was well-saved by Vukovic but the opening 45 minutes ended with the scores locked at 0-0 in what was a rather dull opening.
The 54th minute saw the Phoenix have a good chance when Manny Muscat dispossessed the Roar midfield before unleashing a long range shot goalward which forced Theoklitos into a solid diving save to keep his side in the game.
Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu found Jean Carlos Solorzano in the area in the 67th minute but the Costa Rican could not control the pass and could only watch the ball deflect off his shin and into the waiting gloves of Vukovic as both sides continually failed to test the opposing gloveman.
Wellington striker Chris Greenacre had a great chance to put his side ahead in the 70th minute but his header from close range missed the target. Later in the match, it seemed as though both clubs were looking to settle for a draw until the Roar hit the lead in the 84th minute.
GOAL Substitute James Meyer battled for possession with Nick Ward before trying his luck from outside the area with his left foot and it paid off as his shot deflected off a Phoenix defender and in past Vukovic to make it 1-0.
GOAL The second-game player wrapped up the three points for the Roar when he was the recipient of some fortune after Thomas Broich’s flick whilst advancing to the byline rebounded off the crossbar where Meyer was on hand to slot home his third A-League goal in just two appearances.
Michael Theoklitos (gk), Matt Smith, Luke DeVere (Mundy 84’), Shane Stefanutto, Ivan Franjic, Erik Paartalu, Kosta Barbarouses, Massimo Murdocca, Jean Carlos Solorzano (Meyer 72’), Mitch Nichols (Henrique 72’), Thomas Broich
Subs - Andrew Redmayne (gk), Henrique (72’), James Meyer (72’), Matt Mundy (84’)
Danny Vukovic (gk), Manny Muscat, Tony Lochhead, Tim Brown, Chris Greenacre (Rojas 77’), Daniel (Ward 63’), Troy Hearfield, Vince Lia, Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Dylan Macallister (Pavlovic 55’)
Subs - Reece Crowther (gk), Mirjan Pavlovic (55’), Nick Ward (63’), Marco Rojas (77’)