Brisbane Roar have produced a brilliant performance to down the Wellington Phoenix 4-1 at Westpac Stadium tonight. The Roar inflicted the first defeat on the Phoenix at their home venue in 25 matches and ironically it was the Queenslanders who were the last team to win at Westpac.
An early goal to ex-Phoenix man Kosta Barbarouses was canceled out by a Tim Brown stunner but the Roar turned it on with goals from Thomas Broich, Massimo Murdocca and Mitch Nichols to take their unbeaten streak to eight games, allowing them to go top of the table ahead of their clash with previous league leaders Adelaide United on Saturday.
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington Crowd: approx. 5,000 Referee: Peter O'Leary Yellow cards:WP - Jade North 24', Paul Ifill 68' BR - nil
GOAL Things got off to a perfect start for the visitors when former Phoenix striker Kosta Barbarouses finished a good move which was started by Reinaldo. The Brazilian took possession on the left flank, played it over to Ivan Franjic on the right before the defender cut it back for Barbarouses who neatly knocked it home.
Wellington responded well with close chances to Chris Greenacre and Leo Bertos before the game evened out and into a midfield battle.
Brisbane looked dangerous every time they went forward with pinpoint passing but it was the Phoenix who hit back when Tim Brown produced a stunner in the 37th minute. GOAL The New Zealand international found the ball at the top of the 'D', controlled it with his thigh then caressed it past Roar keeper Michael Theoklitos with the outside of his foot.
GOAL On the stroke of half-time, Brisbane again took the lead when the ball found Thomas Broich in the area and the German import tried his luck with a rasping shot which deflected off Jade North and past Mark Paston to make it 2-1.
Eight minutes after the break, the Roar should have had their third when Reinaldo made a dazzling run down the right flank before teeing up for Massimo Murdocca but his shot only cannoned into the upright in what was a huge let off for the home side.
Phoenix fought hard for an equalizer but they then found themselves two goals down when Murdocca finished with aplomb in the 76th minute. GOAL Substitute Jean Carlos Solorzano threaded a perfect through ball for the diminutive midfielder who netted with ease past Paston to make it 3-1.
Wellington made a nuisance of themselves late in the piece with chances from Paul Ifill and Dylan Macallister but they ended up on the receiving end of a thrashing when GOAL youngster Mitch Nichols made it 4-1 in injury time with an easy finish from a Broich pass.
WP Mark Paston (gk), Manny Muscat (Daniel 70'), Andrew Durante, Ben Sigmund, Jade North, Vince Lia (Macallister 60'), Simon Elliott, Tim Brown, Paul Ifill, Chris Greenacre (Ward 79'), Leo Bertos
Subs - Danny Vukovic (gk), Nick Ward (79'), Daniel (70'), Dylan Macallister (60')
BR Michael Theoklitos (gk), Milan Susak (Mundy 90+4'), Luke DeVere, Matt Smith, Ivan Franjic, Matt McKay, Erik Paartalu, Massimo Murdocca, Thomas Broich, Reinaldo (Nichols 78'), Kosta Barbarouses (Solorzano 74')