A Besart Berisha brace has helped Brisbane Roar to a gritty 2-1 away win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium last night.
After Osama Malik opened the scoring for the Reds within the first ten minutes, the Roar came from behind and replied through a first-half penalty and unique solo effort from Berisha twenty minutes from full time.
The Brisbane striker has now scored four goals in three games since returning from a hamstring injury.
The away side started on the back foot and in the 7th minute, struggled to clear their lines as a corner was delivered to the near post and Malik was left with an easy header into the back of the net.
Despite Adelaide’s strong start, Brisbane found themselves level after 21 minutes when referee Peter O’Leary awarded a penalty for clear foul on Corey Brown by veteran defender Tarek Elrich and Berisha converted from the spot.
A highlight of the first half for the Roar was a spectacular block from young goalkeeper Matt Acton seven minutes from the break, denying Fabio Ferreira with a reactive save from close range.
Mike Mulvey’s men were stronger in the second stanza but had to wait until the 72nd minute to take the lead and it was again Berisha providing the spark for the Roar up front.
In one of the stranger Hyundai A-League goals, the Albanian powered his way past two Adelaide defenders and fell to the ground, managing the sneakiest of touches to squeeze the ball out and into the back of the net with his right foot.
It was United’s substitutes who proved the most dangerous for the home side late in the match, first Awer Mabil cutting the ball back to Cirio and forcing another strong save from Acton before Jeronimo Neumann headed wide after the ball was played over the top for him in the final minute.
The result puts Brisbane six points clear of second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers, who play Melbourne Heart at Pirtek Stadium tomorrow.
The Roar travel to New Zealand to play Wellington Phoenix in round ten before returning to Suncorp Stadium the following week to host Newcastle Jets.
Adelaide United 1 (Osama MALIK 7’)
Brisbane Roar 2 (Besart BERISHA 21’(p), 72’)
Friday, 6 December 2013
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-off: 7.00pm local time/6.30pm Brisbane time
Referee: Peter O’Leary
Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 4. Jonathan McKAIN, 5. Osama MALIK, 8. ISAIAS, 9. Sergio CIRIO, 10. Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11. Bruce DJITE (7. Jeronimo NEUMANN 63’), 13. Steven LUSTICA, 18. Michael ZULLO, 21. Tarek ELRICH, 22. Fabio FERREIRA (17. Awer MABIL 69’)
Substitutes not used: 12. Antony GOLEC, 19. Jake BARKER-DAISH, 30. John HALL (gk)
Yellow cards: Bruce DJITE 60’, Sergio CIRO 90+3’
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar: 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 7. Besart BERISHA (29. Kwame YEBOAH 77’), 10. HENRIQUE (11. Liam MILLER 57’), 15. James DONACHIE, 17. Matt McKAY, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 19. Jack HINGERT, 20. Matthew ACTON (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 26. Corey BROWN
Substitutes not used: 14. Diogo FERREIRA, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS, 33. Fraser CHALMERS
Yellow cards: Jack HINGERT 90+2’
Red cards: Nil