Brisbane Roar have closed the gap on sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers to a single point following a 2-2 draw against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday evening.
The two sides played out a four-goal thriller at Westpac Stadium, with all four strikes coming in a 23-minute flurry at the beginning of the second half.
The result extends Brisbane's unbeaten streak to three matches with three rounds of season 2017/18 remaining.
“We knew it was going to be a hard game and we knew the Phoenix would be dangerous, especially on the counter, as they were," Head Coach John Aloisi said.
"We’re disappointed that when we had our chances to go at Wellington we took a little bit too long and didn’t punish them when we could.
"All in all, a draw was a fair result and we move on and make sure we pick up three points next week."
Following a first half which produced few chances at either end, the game came to life with two strikes finding the back of the net within 10 minutes of the restart.
Brett Holman opened the scoring with an exquisitely-struck volley, leaving Phoenix keeper Oli Sail with no chance after being found by Massimo Maccarone at the back post.
The Roar's lead lasted just three minutes as Andrija Kaludjerovic drew the hosts level before the hosts took a shock lead with 25 minutes to play.
Logan Rogerson headed the Phoenix into a lead that was again short-lived as Thomas Kristensen poked home the game's fourth goal in the 68th minute.
Both sides created their own chances as time wound down as the Roar pushed hard for a late winner.
Fahid Ben Khalfallah came closest for Brisbane after dragging a shot wide of the left post before Nathan Burns forced Jamie Young into another Save of the Week contender as the Brisbane stopper tipped a goal-bound strike onto the crossbar.
The Roar now return to Suncorp Stadium for the final regular season home game against Central Coast Mariners next Saturday, 31 March (4:35pm KO). Get your tickets to Saturday's match HERE.
STORY OF THE GAME
- Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances in the opening 45 minutes with a number of the Roar's attempts flying high over the Phoenix goal.
- The game burst to life with a goal each within 10 minutes of the start of the second period.
- Wellington took a lead through Logan Rogerson's first Hyundai A-League goal with 25 minutes to play, but the lead lasted just three minutes before Thomas Kristensen netted an equaliser.
- Chances continued to be created in the dying stages with both keepers called into action, but neither side were able to find a valuable late goal.
- Brisbane's strong form away from home continued with the Roar closing to within a point of the top-6 heading into the final three regular-season games.
Brisbane Roar - Holman 50' - 0-1
Massimo Maccarone floats a ball to the back post which is hit first time across goal into the top corner by Brett Holman.
Wellington Phoenix - Kaludjerovic 53' - 1-1
Andrija Kaludjerovic is played through on goal and finishes calmly to Jamie Young's left.
Wellington Phoenix - Rogerson 65' - 2-1
Nathan Burns whips a ball into the area which is perfectly placed for Logan Rogerson to head home from close range.
Brisbane Roar - Kristensen 68' - 2-2
A header is blocked on the line by a Phoenix defender but falls straight into the path of Thomas Kristensen who pokes home from point-blank range.
Hyundai A-League Round 24: Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 25 March
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Kaludjerovic 53', Rogerson 65')
Brisbane Roar 2 (Holman 50', Kristensen 68')