Brisbane Roar tonight extended their lead at the top of the A-League table with a thrilling 3-2 win over Perth Glory. The home side completely dominated proceedings, cruising to a two-goal lead thanks to Jean Carlos Solorzano and Matt Smith before Robbie Fowler netted a penalty and Adriano Pellegrino scored a screamer either side of Solorzano's spot-kick.
The Roar deserved to win by a much bigger margin but the Glory must be commended for continuing to fight back, even with nine men on the park.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Crowd: approx. 6,000 Referee: Matthew Gillett Yellow cards:BR - nil PG - Andrija Jukic 25', Tando Velaphi 33', Scott Neville 70'/75' Red cards:PG - Scott Neville 75', Josh Mitchell 90+2'
Brisbane were all over the Glory for most of the first half with Thomas Broich, Erik Paartalu and Matt McKay pulling the strings in midfield and Jean Carlos Solorzano and Kosta Barbarouses looking dangerous up forward.
Perth were mostly comfortable in defence, allowing the Roar to hold onto possession and pass the ball around at will but it was soon to their detriment as Ange Postecoglou's men took the lead just before half-time.
GOAL 100th gamer Massimo Murdocca flicked the ball sideways to Barbarouses who played a lovely slider for Solorzano. He had his first attempt blocked by Glory defender Jamie Coyne but managed to keep his feet as Coyne collided with advancing keeper Tando Velaphi before tucking away from an angle to make it 1-0, rewarding the home side for their dominance.
Seven minutes into the second half, it should have been two goals to the good of the Roar when Solorzano played a cheeky backheel to Broich who took the ball to the byline with a dazzling run before teeing up Matt McKay but the skipper's left-foot thunderbolt was well-saved by Velaphi who managed to get his hand on Murdocca's follow up from pointblank ranger.
GOAL But the second goal did come in the 58th minute when Broich's pinpoint delivery from a corner was met at the top of the six-yard box by defender Matt Smith who powered a header home to give his side a much-deserved 2-0 lead.
GOAL The Glory were awarded a dubious penalty in the 66th minute when Todd Howarth's ball into the box was met with the left upper arm of Roar defender Luke DeVere, even though he had his limbs seemingly tucked away. Substitute Robbie Fowler stepped up to the spot and although Michael Theoklitos picked the correct side, the former Liverpool man made it 2-1 with his first touch of the game.
Less than ten minutes later, the Roar got a penalty of their own when Scott Neville was unable to handle the trickery of Solorzano and brought him down from behind in the area, forcing the referee to point to the spot and hand him his second yellow card, reducing the visitors to ten men. GOAL Solorzano took the honours and struck his shot to the left, beating Velaphi to make it 3-1 and grab his second.
GOAL The game took another twist in the 83rd minute when Glory substitute Adriano Pellegrino unleashed with a swerving shot from 25 yards which dipped over Theoklitos and in for the visitors' second, setting up a very interesting finale.
Late in the piece, the Glory had their second player sent off when Josh Mitchell bundled over Reinaldo on the edge of the area but the Roar could not make the most of having a two-man advantage although they did come away with all three points.
BR Michael Theoklitos (gk), Matthew Smith (Mundy 64'), Luke DeVere, Ivan Franjic, Erik Paartalu, Kosta Barbarouses, Massimo Murdocca, Jean Carlos Solorzano (Reinaldo 77'), Matt McKay (Nichols 77'), Thomas Broich, Milan Suak
Subs - Andrew Redmayne (gk), Matt Mundy (64'), Reinaldo (77'), Mitch Nichols (77')
PG Tando Velaphi (gk), Josh Mitchell, Jamie Coyne, Jacob Burns, Branko Jelic, Scott Neville, Tommy Amphlett, Howard Fondyke (Fowler 65'), Todd Howarth, Naum Sekulovski (McGarry 13'), Andrija Jukic (Pellegrino 65')
Subs - Alex Vrteski (gk), Steven McGarry (13'), Robbie Fowler (65'), Adriano Pellegrino (65')