Roar end Sky Blues home run
Brisbane Roar have become the first team to take three points against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in almost two years following an outstanding 2-1 victory on Saturday night.
Headlined by a sparkling start which included two goals, the Roar withstood a late surge from the hosts to record a ninth win of the Hyundai A-League season.
The win is Brisbane's fifth in their last six away games and returns the Roar to within two points of the top six with Head Coach John Aloisi praising a terrific defensive showing.
“We believe that we can beat any side. A lot of our players, especially in the front four are starting to find form. I was really happy with our defensive performance because we shut them down pretty well,” Aloisi said.
“Today, Daniel Bowles and Jacob Pepper, along with Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen were superb."
After entering the clash as clear underdogs, the Roar stunned the hosts, taking the lead in the ninth minute through skipper Matt McKay who squeezed a glancing header inside Andrew Redmayne's near post.
Adrian Mierzejewski came close to restoring parity shortly after, sending a header narrowly wide of Jamie Young's goal.
It would be one the Sky Blues' best chance of the opening half before the Roar doubled their advantage with Jacob Pepper smashing home his first goal in Brisbane orange in the 18th minute after being teed up beautifully by Ivan Franjic.
Despite having a goal disallowed in the first half for offside, the hosts did cut the deficit during the opening stages of the second 45 with Milos Ninkovic powerfully heading into the top corner from point-blank range.
Brisbane were forced to valiantly defend their lead as the hosts pushed for an equaliser, with outstanding effort and some brave defence ensuring the lead remained intact until the final whistle for John Aloisi's men.
Man of the Match Jacob Pepper couldn't hide his excitement post-match after netting his first ever BRFC goal.
“We were speaking this week that every game matters and credit to the boys,” Pepper said.
“It [scoring his first Brisbane Roar goal] was a very good feeling – I’ll remember that one.
“The feeling in the camp is very good. There has been a big difference in the last five or six games from the start of the season. It took us a while to gel but we’re playing good football and having fun.”
The Roar are back on the road next round, travelling across the ditch to face Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium next Sunday afternoon (4pm KO QLD time).
STORY OF THE GAME
- The Roar found themselves two goals in front inside 20 minutes through unexpected sources in captain Matt McKay and central defender Jacob Pepper.
- Sydney FC appeared to have cut the deficit in half in the 33rd minute before Alex Wilkinson's goal was ruled out after VAR found the defender to be offside in the build-up.
- The hosts started the second half strongly, with Milos Ninkovic creating a couple of chances and burying one in the 58th minute to cut the Roar lead to one goal.
- Sydney pushed hard for an equalising goal, with a Matt Simon strike that cannoned off the post the closest the Sky Blues came.
- The win moves Brisbane's Hyundai A-League side to within two points of the top-6 with four regular season round matches remaining.
Brisbane Roar - McKay 9' - 0-1
Eric Bautheac whips a corner into the area which captain Matt McKay heads goalward with a glancing header, beating Andrew Redmayne at his near post.
Brisbane Roar - Pepper 18' - 0-2
The ball is floated to the back post before being squared back across the goalmouth where Jacob Pepper puts his laces through the ball and smashes it into the back of the net.
Sydney FC - Ninkovic 59' - 1-2
Jordy Buijs drives a ball to the back post which Milos Ninkovic emphatically heads into the roof of the net.
Hyundai A-League Round 23: Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday, 17 March
Sydney FC 1 (Ninkovic 58')
Brisbane Roar 2 (McKay 9', Pepper 18')