Roar takes back all possible points from Wanderers’ home
Brisbane have finally got their A-League season on track by snatching a sorely needed 2-0 A-League win off an injury-hit Western Sydney.
Ivan Franjic marked his return to the Roar with a sublime second-half strike to complement Massimo Maccarone’s opener at a wind and rain-swept ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
Their second win in nine games lifts John Aloisi’s struggling side from ninth to seventh on the ladder and pushes the Wanderers down a slot to eighth.
— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) December 2, 2017
Western Sydney were left with a mountain to climb in the drab affair after losing both Oriol Riera and Jaushua Sotirio to injury in the first half, leaving new coach Josep Gombau with some serious headaches.
The result aside, the hosts started well in control, the unfortunate irony that Riera had provided the early highlights.
In the 19th minute, however, Riera was seemingly done and marched down the tunnel making way for an early Brendon Santalab entrance.
By the half-hour mark Sotirio was visibly shaking while clutching at his left hamstring but, with Mark Bridge absent from the squad and no other attackers on the bench, left-back Jack Clisby was called into action.
Until then the Roar had survived through some last-ditch defending, but Peter Skapetis took a well-timed crack from distance that shaved the outside netting and Eric Bautheac proved a tidy outlet.
The Frenchman provided the headed assist for Maccarone’s goal right on half-time, the Italian veteran belting in a left-foot half-volley past Vedran Janjetovic after Wanderers defenders failed to clear their lines.
It looked as if Gombau’s woes would be compounded when Alvaro Cejudo went down with injury and sought assistance, though the in-form Spaniard recovered to see out the match.
Aloisi went into the book for dissent after Michael Thwaite’s clash with Nicholas D’Agostino left the Roar attacker worse for wear.
D’Agostino managed to play on and fired just over the crossbar at the death, but not before threading the ball to substitute Franjic at the edge of the box.
The fringe Socceroo had been on the field mere seconds when he struck Brisbane’s second, taking a touch back inside to divert two defenders and curling his finish over Janjetovic’s head.