Brave Brisbane beat Sydney

Brisbane Roar remain in the fight for the Hyundai A-league finals after inflicting a 1-0 loss on Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane Roar remain in the fight for the Hyundai A-league finals after inflicting a 1-0 loss on Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.

A perennial thorn in the away side, Sergio van Dijk-s late goal was enough to claim the precious three points.

But it was the superb saves of Roar goalkeeper Matthew Ham which condemned Sydney FC to another defeat at Suncorp Stadium

Sydney FC-s barren spell at the Roar-s home ground has now stretched to nearly two years, their last win a 1-0 victory in round five of the 2007/08 season

However, Sydney FC were quick out of the blocks in this match with John Aloisi shooting high after a long downfield movement started by Simon Colosimo.

The away team were controlling much of the early stages, but after eight minutes van Dijk made his, and the Roar-s, intentions clear striking just over the bar from 25 metres out.

Six minutes later and the Roar were holding their collective breath as Sydney captain Steve Corica skipped past a couple of challenges and fed Alex Brosque.

Fortunately for the Roar, -keeper Ham was up to the challenge, pushing aside the would-be Socceroo-s stinging shot.

The Roar custodian made it two from two only a minute later, diving full stretch to deny Aloisi a certain goal.

Two shots within a minute woke the home team from their slumber, Tommy Oar denied a wonderful long strike by the frame of Sydney-s goal.

The young winger picked up a layoff from Reinaldo, scampered forward and unleashed a lethal left foot missile that beat Sydney ‘keeper Clint Bolton, but not the post.

On 29 minutes Reinaldo chased down a long hopeful punt, but the Brazilian couldn-t flick the ball past the on-rushing Bolton.

Sydney FC were moving forward again eight minutes later, Corica jagging inside the Roar box after a sweet pass from Brosque.

But the impassable Ham stuck his frame in the way, and the Roar defence cleared the danger.

With the halftime whistle only minutes away, Oar and Adam Sarota both pushed forward and tried their luck from distance.

The midfield duos- shots both missed the mark and the teams went in at the interval scoreless.

The Roar had and early chance in the second half, van Dijk blasting just over the bar from a long range free kick.

Two minutes later and it was Reinaldo-s turn to threaten, heading high and wide from an Oar corner.

On 56 minutes a combination of Ham and Pieter Collen saved the Roar falling behind in the match.

A Terry McFlynn ball fell kindly at the feet of Corica, but his shot was well saved by Ham before his follow up shot was cleared off the line by Collen.

Ham was called into action again two minutes later when Brosque ghosted into the box and planted his header goal-wards.

However, the away team should have taken the lead when Sung-Hwan Byun found some space in the box, but the Korean blazed wide of the goal.

Sydney were starting to control the match as Aloisi tried the spectacular, his overhead kick well saved by Ham.

Bolton wasn-t about to let his opposite number steal all the plaudits, the Sydney stopper throwing himself through the air to deny a cracking Michael Zullo volley.

With only seven minutes left on the clock the Roar twice went close, both Henrique and David Dodd forcing fine saves from Bolton.

However, the home team-s deserved goal finally came in the 88th minute, when van Dijk found himself in the right place at the right time from a well taken corner.

Bolton half cleared the danger, but the ball fell kindly for Luke DeVere and the defender-s shot flicked off the Dutchman-s hip and into the back of the net.

Both Reinaldo and van Dijk went close in the dying embers of the game, but the one goal was enough for the Roar to maintain their late finals push.

Roar coach Ange Postecoglou said the victory was a ‘big night- for the squad.

“Obviously we-ve been through a pretty tough season, for players, staff and fans,” he said.

“I was pretty keen to give them something this year, and it keeps our finals hopes alive as well.

“To come away with the three points on such a big night for the club … I was pretty pleased.”

Postecoglou said Ham had done his job, but refused to single out the ‘keeper in a victory won by the team.

“Get out the headline writers out, ‘Ham saves our bacon-,” he joked.

“But we had a plan as to how we were going to stop them … and the boys responded magnificently.

“They did just about everything right.

Brisbane Roar 1 (van Dijk 88-)

Sydney FC 0

Brisbane Roar: 1. Matthew Ham (gk), 3. Luke DeVere, 4. Pieter Collen, 7. Michael Zullo, 9. Sergio van Dijk, 10. Steven Bryce (13. Henrique 60-), 11. Reinaldo, 14. Adam Sarota, 15. Matt McKay (c), 21. Tommy Oar (17. Mitch Nichols 89-), 22. Ivan Franjic (6. David Dodd 67-)

Unused Substitutes: 20. Griffin McMaster

Yellow Cards: Michael Zullo 54-

Red Cards:

Sydney FC: 1. Clint Bolton (gk), 3. Stephan Keller, 4. Simon Colosimo, 6. Karol Kisel, 8. Stuart Musialik, 9. John Aloisi, 10. Steve Corica (c) (23. Rhyan Grant 77-), 12. Shannon Cole (26. Hayden Foxe 90+2-), 14. Alex Brosque (16. Christopher Payne 81-), 15. Terry McFlynn, 22. Sung-Hwan Byun

Unused Substitutes: 20. Ivan Necevski (gk)

Yellow Cards: Stephan Keller 46-, Shannon Cole 50-

Red Cards:

Referee: Michael Hester

Crowd: 8613