Two goals in the final 15 minutes has earned Brisbane Roar a pulsating victory against Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Tobias Mikkelsen's 77th minute strike restored parity following Danny De Silva's opener before a rocket on the cusp of stoppage time from young gun Dylan Wenzel-Halls sent Suncorp Stadium into raptures.
The goal is the youngster's second in as many games & his first at Suncorp Stadium, giving him the chance to celebrate with his home fans.
"Words can't descirbe [the feeling], I just hit it as hard as I could. We worked hard, it wasn't easy, but it's great to get the three points," Wenzel-Halls said post-match.
"I love celebrating with the fans, they've supported us through thick & thin."
The win was also Interim Head Coach Darren Davies first at the helm, and he couldn't hide the pride in his side's performance post-match.
"I couldn’t be more proud, they were phenomenal. We were short on bodies, we lost two players early, we went 1-0 down, and to show that character to come back speaks absolute volumes for this group," Davies said.
"The boys kept fighting right to the end."
No goals found the back of the net in the opening half, but it did bring about two milestones for the Club.
Goalkeeper Brendan White made his first start in the Hyundai A-League, marking the appearance with a number of world-class saves throughout the contest.
An early substitution also saw Young Roar defender Izaack Powell become the youngest play to ever pull on the Brisbane Roar Hyundai A-League jersey. Four days shy of his 17th birthday, Powell was immense on the left side of defence.
"I was pretty nervous, it’s a big honour to play for the club. Once I got there, I had Matty [McKay] beside me and he helped me out," Powell said.
The first goal went to the visitors 10 minutes after the half-time break with Danny De Silva sneaking in at the back post and tapping home a parried shot from point-blank range.
The home's side hunger in attack didn't waiver though with a number of delightful attacks leading to chances for the home side, including four consecutive corners at one point during the second period.
The determination & pressure did pay dividends with 15 minutes to go as the Roar pounced on a counter-attack which was polished off with an emphatic finish from Danish international Tobias Mikkelsen.
Darren Davies' men weren't done there yet & went straight on the front foot in search of go-ahead goal before Dylan Wenzel-Halls sent Suncorp Stadium into delirium on the cusp of stoppage time.
The young striker's pressure opened up the chance for him to pounce before putting his laces through a first-time strike from the edge the area that soared into the top right corner.
A great take from a last-ditch Sky Blues free-kick by Brendan White was all the Roar needed to then last a nervy final stages to record their second win of the Hyundai A-League season.
The Roar hit the road for the next two matches, the first away to league leader Perth Glory next Saturday night at nib Stadium (9pm KO QLD time).
STORY OF THE GAME
- Izaac Powell became Brisbane Roar’s youngest player to make his Hyundai A-League debut at just 16 years old, replacing Jack Hingert in the 29th minute.
- A fantastic double-save from White in his maiden Hyundai A-League start in the 35th minute kept the scores level, with the keeper diving onto his right to block Le Fondre’s effort, before jumping up and stretching high to tip Ghoochannejhad’s close-range effort out.
- Drama in the dying minutes of the game secured the Roar the winner as Dylan Wenzel-Halls’ rocket into the top corner gave the youngster his second Hyundai A-League goal in just a week & the Roar their first win of 2019.
Sydney FC – De Silva 55’ – 0-1
Brendan White dives onto his left to block Adam Le Fondre’s sweeping shot, but his palm-away rebounds into the feet of Danny De Silva, who converts from close-range.
Brisbane Roar – Mikkelsen 77’ – 1-1
Brilliant movement from Adam Taggart pays dividends as the striker receives the ball, turns and plays in Tobias Mikkelsen, with the Dane hammering it home to put the sides on level terms.
Brisbane Roar – Wenzel-Halls 90’ – 2-1
Wenzel-Halls receives the ball from Taggart on the edge of the area and does well to bundle the ball through a tackle in the midfield, before smashing the ball into the top corner and leaving Andrew Redmayne with no chance.
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 - Round 18: Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday, 8 February
Brisbane Roar 2 (Mikkelsen 77', Wenzel-Halls 90')
Sydney FC 1 (De Silva 55')