A spirited Brisbane Roar outfit has fallen just short in Saturday night's Hyundai A-League clash against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.
A first-half double from Kosta Barbarouses handed Victory a two-goal advantage at the break, who held on for the win despite an delicately-finished Eric Bautheac goal early in the second half.
Head Coach Darren Davies was proud of his side's fight throughout the second half & believed the performance deserved more.
"We were disappointed to be two goals down at half-time, and in the goals were conceded, but we had moments when we caused them problems when we got the ball into the middle of midfield," Davies said post-match.
"We threw everything at them, scored a goal from the press and certainly left nothing in the tank."
The two sides went toe-to-toe throughout the first half before the hosts took the ascendancy with Barbarouses first firing home in the 24th minute before narrowly avoiding an offside call to double the lead 15 minutes later.
The Roar came out on a mission after the break & made the most of a turnover won by Thomas Kristensen deep inside the Victory's half, as the Dane's tackle fell to the feet of Bautheac who beautifully finished over the head of Victory keeper Matt Acton.
Both sides had their chances as the second half with a close-range header from Dylan Wenzel-Halls which was blocked on the line being the Roar's best chance of the final stages.
Despite the visitors emptying the tank in search of an equaliser, it wasn't to be as the Victory held on to take the points.
Attention now turns to a return to Suncorp Stadium following next weekend's international break against Sydney FC on Friday, 29 March (6:50pm KO).
STORY OF THE GAME
- Eli Babalj became the 150th player to represent the Roar in the Hyundai A-League with a spot in the starting XI, before Zach Duncan also made his league debut as a substitute in the second half.
- Daniel Leck earned his first start of Season 2018/19, defending well against strong opposition and threatening in attack down the right flank.
- Two first-half goals from Kosta Barbarouses proved to be the difference between the two sides.
- Bautheac pulls one back for the Roar with a close range finish after Kristensen wins the ball high up the pitch.
Melbourne Victory - Barbarouses 24' - 1-0
Barbarouses breaks through behind the line & finishes low into the bottom right corner to open the scoring.
Melbourne Victory - Barbarouses 39' - 2-0
The Kiwi narrowly avoids an offside call before finishing from an acute angle.
Brisbane Roar - Bautheac 50' - 2-1
Thomas Kristensen forces a turnover, which falls to Eric Bautheac who, with a delicate finish, leaves Matt Acton with little chance, looping the keeper from outside the area.
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 - Round 22: Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday, March 16
Melbourne Victory 2 (Barbaroures 24', 39')
Brisbane Roar 1 (Bautheac 50’)
Half time: 2-0