Sergio seals sweet success

Sergio van Dijk has netted a later winner over Sydney FC this afternoon to take Brisbane Roar within a point of the top of the ladder after eight rounds.

Sergio van Dijk has netted a later winner over Sydney FC this afternoon to take Brisbane Roar within a point of the top of the ladder after eight rounds.

A strong defensive display from both teams had the match seemingly destined for a draw, until van Dijk popped up in the 86th minute to earn three points for his team against their traditional rivals from the south.

Liam Reddy was the first goalkeeper called into action four minutes into the match, reacting quickly to keep out Mark Bridge-s shot from the edge of the area.

Brisbane hit back quickly and created a half-chance in the 13th minute when David Dodd broke up an attack in the middle of the park, allowing Charlie Miller to release Reinaldo but the Brazilian-s effort at the near post was comfortable for Clint Bolton.

On 20 minutes the Sky Blues came close again, Brendan Gan working his way into the penalty area and flashing a shot past the outstretched Reddy and beyond the far post.

The visitors had a great chance to take the lead just on the half-hour mark when Alex Brosque played Bridge through on goal but the striker-s first-time effort sailed over the bar.

Three minutes later Brosque saw an effort of his own narrowly miss the target, after he collected the ball on the counter and cut onto his left foot for a shot from the top of the box.

The Roar were always in the contest, however, and nearly capitalised on one of many first-half corners in the 37th minute when Bob Malcolm headed towards the top corner but Bolton held the ball well.

The home team had another chance just before the interval through Henrique, who collected a pass from Danny Tiatto and cut inside Sebastian Ryall before watching his toe-poke bobble just past the post.

After the break the home team gained the upper hand and maintained a good spell of pressure but struggled to break down a stubborn Sydney defence.

A rare foray forward for the visitors conjured a terrific chance for Bridge on the hour mark, as Sung-Hwan Byun found the marksman with a superb cross but he couldn-t keep the header down.

Three minutes later Karol Kisel whipped in another cross, this time to Brosque, but again the shot went over the bar.

On 65 minutes Josh McCloughan brought the best out of Bolton, towering above Shannon Cole to head down at the near post but the Sydney ‘keeper was quickly down to his right to flick the ball off the line.

In the final 10 minutes Kisel threatened, cutting onto his left foot and screwing a shot off target.

But it was the Roar who would net a late winner, Miller-s angled ball headed back across goal by Craig Moore for van Dijk to nod deftly into the far corner of Bolton-s net with just four minutes left on the clock.

The home fans almost had another goal to celebrate a minute later as Henrique escaped down the right and cut back to Reinaldo, but his powerful shot was well saved.

Brisbane coach Frank Farina was glowing in his praise following the result, with his team overcoming a number of key absences to extend its unbeaten record against Sydney to eight matches.

“We-re one point off top spot. So with all the problems that we-ve had, is it satisfying? Bloody oath,” he said.

“I think it showed the character of the players that are left standing.

“It was a bit of an arm wrestle again in the first half. We changed a couple of things in the second half and I thought we were a lot better.”

Brisbane Roar travel to Melbourne next weekend before returning to take on Gold Coast United at Suncorp Stadium on October 11.

Brisbane Roar 1 (Sergio van Dijk 86-) Sydney FC 0

Brisbane Roar: 1. Liam Reddy (gk), 4. Craig Moore (c), 5. Josh McCloughan, 6. David Dodd, 9. Sergio van Dijk, 10. Charlie Miller, 11. Reinaldo, 13. Henrique, 16. Bob Malcolm, 18. Danny Tiatto (19. Isaka Cernak 81-), 27. Ivan Franjic.

Unused substitutes: 20. Griffin McMaster (gk), 12. Matt Mundy, 23. Tim Smits.

Yellow cards: Craig Moore 43-, David Dodd 70-, Charlie Miller 74-.

Red cards: nil.

Sydney FC: 1. Clint Bolton (gk), 2.Sebastian Ryall, 4. Simon Colosimo, 6. Karol Kisel, 7. Brendan Gan, 8. Stuart Musialik, 10. Steve Corica (c) (18. Adam Casey 80-), 12. Shannon Cole (16. Christopher Payne 87-), 14. Alex Brosque, 19. Mark Bridge, 22. Sung-Hwan Byun.

Unused substitutes: 20. Ivan Necevski (gk), 13. Antony Golec.

Yellow cards: Brendan Gan 39-, Shannon Cole 76-, Sebastian Ryall 83-.

Red cards: nil.

Referee: Strebre Delovski.

Crowd: 7677 at Suncorp Stadium.

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