Brisbane Roar have kept their chances of an eighth consecutive finals appearance alive with an impressive 3-2 victory against Perth Glory on Saturday night.
An Henrique brace and a first-half strike from Great Dane Thomas Kristensen was enough for the Roar to secure a vital three points and pile the pressure back on Western Sydney Wanderers.
The result sees the Roar climb back into the top six, where they will remain should the Wanderers fail to beat Adelaide United this afternoon.
The two strikes from the Slippery Fish also takes his BRFC goal tally to 42, making him the second-highest goalscorer in club history.
Following a disappointing performance last week, Head Coach John Aloisi was impressed by his side's display.
"It was a great performance from our players. We have had such a tough season but these boys don't know how to lie down and I know they have made the supporters proud," Aloisi said.
"During the week, you could see the boys were ready to give everything tonight. Let's hope we can make finals because they deserve it, but it's out of our hands now."
It was the perfect time for the Roar to clinch their first win in Western Australia since January 2013, but they were forced to come from behind as the Glory took the lead in the 24th minute through Adam Taggart.
The hosts' lead lasted a matter of six minutes before a first-time strike from Henrique, who had only moments before entered the fray in place of Brett Holman, drew the Roar level and preceded a strong period of play for the visitors.
Great Dane Thomas Kristensen ensured Brisbane would head into the break with momentum and a lead, driving a low shot past Liam Reddy in the shadows of half-time.
Desperate defending denied the hosts the chance to draw level in the early stages of the second half, and Henrique rewarded the terrific work at the other end of the park, slotting his second of the night to extend the Roar's lead.
The Slippery Fish would later go within inches of snagging a hat-trick, denied only by the upright in the final 10 minutes.
The second period developed into a frenetic end-to-end encounter with the Glory's desperation to find a goal opening up counter-attacking opportunities for the Roar.
Heroics between the posts from Jamie Young then kept the Glory at bay as the Roar custodian was on hand to deny Diego Castro from the penalty spot with a tick under 15 minutes to play.
An 86th minute goal for the hosts set-up a grandstand finish but that's as close as it got as Brisbane kept their finals chances alive.
Speaking post-match, Brisbane's Man of the Match said just how much the result means to him.
"When I came back, I looked the boss in the eyes and said I want to make the finals, I am hungry and I will leave everything on the field – that's what I did," Henrique said.
STORY OF THE GAME
- Henrique was brought on early in place of Brett Holman who succumbed to an injury and the Slippery Fish found the net within minutes of entering the fray to level the scores at 1-1.
- The Roar continued to out-muscle the Glory after levelling and Great Dane Thomas Kristensen put the Roar in front with five minutes to play in the first half.
- The Slippery Fish doubled the Roar's lead just moments into the second period and was desparately unlucky to not net his third goal of the match in the dying stages.
- The margin was cut to one goal with four minutes remaining, but the Glory were unable to find a late equaliser.
- In their first start together in the heart of Brisbane's backline, Youngster Connor O'Toole and Jacob Pepper were outstanding during Saturday night's contest at nib Stadium.
Perth Glory – Taggart 24' – 1-0
The ball falls to Adam Taggart 30m out from goal who hits a first-time strike into an empty net.
Brisbane Roar – Henrique 30' – 1-1
An attempted clearance from the Glory goes no further than Henrique at the top of the area who curls a shot into the bottom right corner.
Brisbane Roar – Kristensen 41' – 1-2
Matt McKay whips in a cross from the left wing, which bypasses an acrobatic attempt from Eric Bautheac, and falls to Thomas Kristensen who fires home across the face of Liam Reddy.
Brisbane Roar – Henrique 52' – 1-3
Henrique latches on to a terrific ball from Maccarone before finishing coolly past Reddy.
Perth Glory – Own goal 86' – 2-3
The ball pinballs around the area before eventually bouncing over the line, handing the Glory a lifeline.
Hyundai A-League Round 27: Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar
Nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday, 14 April
Perth Glory 2 (Taggart 24', Pepper o.g. 86')
Brisbane Roar 3 (Henrique 30', 52', Kristensen 41'