Roar comeback in Cairns to topple Phoenix

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The Brisbane Roar made sure the first Hyundai A-League game played in Cairns was a night to remember for the locals as they prevailed 2-1 over the Phoenix.

Two second half goals completed the comeback after they had fallen behind to Roy Krishna’s strike in a sluggish and steamy game in North Queensland.

It would take almost 18 minutes for either side to etch out a chance and it would have been in the back of the net if not for some spectacular intervention.

Henrique was played in by Corona and he found Jamie Maclaren with a ball across the box only for it to be pushed off the striker’s toes by Manny Muscat’s timely slide challenge.

With ten minutes to play in the first half Henrique ran at a backtracking Phoenix defence and played an inviting pass across to Thomas Broich, yet the German scuffed his shot with the goal at his mercy.

The Roar were controlling the game and creating chances but couldn’t break down Wellington’s stubborn defence as they committed plenty of men behind the ball.

In added time Wellington hit Brisbane with a sucker punch to gain the lead with their first clear opportunity.

Roy Krishna danced his way around Brisbane’s defence to find himself some space in the middle of the box, cut it back onto his right foot and drill it under Jamie Young.

The Phoenix almost caught Brisbane out again right after the interval as Roly Bonevacia broke their offside trap and charged through on goal.

But his indecisive and nonchalant stroll into the box allowed Jade North to tip it into Young’s grasp.

A beautiful Wellington passing move with a touch from each of their attacking players opened up room for Alex Rodriguez to shoot but he blazed it wide.

Krishna almost got his second of the night with half an hour to play as he raced through one-on-one with Young and forced the keeper into a fine save.

Brisbane made a breakthrough on the 70 minute mark as their two substitutes combined on the break after Wellington had almost killed the game at the other end.

Jean Carlos Solorzano was played to the by-line and had plenty of time to pick out Steven Lustica, who fired it home to make it 1-1.

With just five minutes to go Maclaren gave Brisbane the lead after he had failed to convert a plethora of previous chances.

The striker found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat and made it 2-1, passing Moss to slot it into an empty net.

Brisbane will be relieved to have secured the victory in a tight encounter and surge up to second on the ladder while Wellington remain fifth.

BRISBANE ROAR: 3. STEFANUTTO Shane, 7. CORONA, 9. MACLAREN Jamie, 10. HENRIQUE, 13.
ORTH Jade, 14. BOWLES Daniel, 17. MACKAY Matt, 19. HINGERT Jack, 21. YOUNG Jamie, 22. BROICH Thomas, 23. PETRATOS Dimitri.

SUBS: 8. LUSTICA Steven, 11. SOLORZANO Jean Carlos, 15. DONACHIE James, 18. HERVAS Javier 36. JANNESE Andre.

WELLINGTON PHOENIX: 1. MOSS Glen, 2. MUSCAT Manny, 4. BONEVACIA Roly, 8. RODRIGUEZ Alex, 10. MCGLINCHEY Michael, 13. RIERA Albert, 14. RUFER Alex, 16. FENTON Louis, 21. KRISHNA Roy, 22. DURANTE Andrew, 23. RIDENTON Matthew.

SUBS: 3. GULLEY Justin, 7. SARPONG Jeffrey, 12. POWELL Blake, 18. SIGMUND Ben, 20. ITALIANO Lewis.

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Lochy McIvor
Brisbane Roar and Tottenham Hotspur supporter. Jesus would have played in the hole. Follow me at @lochymci

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