Another match winner from teenager Brandon Borrello has ignited Brisbane Roar’s Hyundai A-League finals hopes with the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
Borrello, who scored the winner against Urawa Reds midweek, netted his second in as many matches when he found the net after some clever skills to weave through the Wanderers defence in the 53rd minute.
The three points from the win saw the Roar leapfrog Melbourne City into sixth on the ladder with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.
Roar’s interim Head Coach Frans Thijssen praised Borrello and said the 19-year-old was in “dangerous” form.
“He is gaining confidence with every game and will be one of the players who will score goals for us over the last 10 games of the season,” Thijssen said.
The win completed a challenging week for the Roar. They drew 2-2 in Perth last Saturday, beat Urawa 1-0 in Japan on Wednesday and grounded out today’s 1-0 victory in a performance which spoke volumes for the players’ stamina, dedication and professionalism.
"It was tough. Western Sydney are organised and defensively they’re solid. We created a lot of chances which is positive and we’re building momentum, said Roar midfielder Luke Brattan.
Brattan was booked yesterday for a rough tackle – his fifth yellow card of the season – and will now miss Sunday’s away clash with Sydney FC.
“That is the only little disappointment from today’s results,” Thijssen said. “Brattsy has been doing such a good job for us in midfield.”
Thijssen yesterday made three changes from the successful midweek AFC Champions League side, bringing in Jerome Polenz, Jean Carlos Solorzano and Luke DeVere for the defender’s first Hyundai A-League start since 2011.
Wanderers attacker Mark Bridge had the first attempt of a warm afternoon, slicing harmlessly wide of Jamie Young’s goal.
Roar had to wait until the 18th minute for their first chance when a marginally overhit pass from Henrique meant Borrello had to stretch to shoot.
Solorzano then drew a sharp near-post save from Wanderers ‘keeper Dean Bouzanis, while Kerem Bulut nodded a Romeo Castelen cross straight at Young.
Just eight minutes after the restart, Borrello made it 1-0.
The young winger received a pass from Polenz and stepped inside Nikolai Topor-Stanley before burying his finish into the bottom corner.
Defenders continued to dominate despite the opener, with James Donachie and Shane Stefanutto called on to keep out Castelen and Bulut.
Borrello almost sealed the result in the 67th minute but, after charging on to a ball forward, dinked his finish over Bouzanis and onto the crossbar.
Young was soon required to keep out a Topor-Stanley header, but it wasn’t until stoppage time that Wanderers had their best chance of the match.
Substitute Tomi Juric smashed a shot against the underside of the bar and away, without the ball crossing the line.
Roar saw out the remaining minutes to maintain their unbeaten run since the AFC Champions League break and head to Sydney this weekend buoyed by three wins and a draw in their last four Hyundai A-League games.
Brisbane Roar 1 (Brandon BORRELLO 53’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Hyundai A-League Round 20
Sunday, 8 March at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Yudai Yamamoto (Japan)
Brisbane Roar: 21. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 2. Jerome POLENZ, 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 10. HENRIQUE (23. Dimitri PETRATOS 78’), 12. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (9. Andrija KALUDEROVIC 83’), 15. James DONACHIE, 17. Matt McKAY (c), 18. Luke BRATTAN, 22. Thomas BROICH, 28. Brandon BORRELLO (19. Jack HINGERT 90’), 33. Luke DEVERE
Substitutes not used: 8. Steven LUSTICA, 36. Fraser CHALMERS
Yellow cards: 18. Luke BRATTAN 8' 15. James DONACHIE 17'
Red cards: Nil
Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6. Antony GOLEC, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14. Kerem BULUT, 16. Joshua SOTIRIO (12. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA 64’), 17. Romeo CASTELEN, 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19. Mark BRIDGE (10. Yojiro TAKAHAGI 46’), 25. Samuel GALLAWAY
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 3. Yusuke TANAKA,
Yellow cards: 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC 81'
Red cards: Nil