Brisbane Roar keep their place in the top six

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Brisbane Roar has maintained their top six position after defeating unofficial rivals Western United 1-0 at Mars Stadium.

The battle between Mark Rudan and Robbie Fowler during Western United’s previous clash with Brisbane Roar was a thing of the past ,with both sides turning their attention to the number six spot on the table.

Rudan and Fowler traded barbs after United’s 2-0 win in December, with Rudan upset Fowler didn’t shake his hand, while Fowler called out United for time-wasting.

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The Roar had leapfrogged Western United into the top six with their 2-1 win over Adelaide United last weekend, meaning they have lost just one of their last seven games.

United headed into this one after a bye last weekend, with their most recent game against the struggling Newcastle Jets finishing goalless.

The extra layer of dramatic flair left from their previous meeting did not give much life to the rivals, as the match started with as much spice as a Sunday stroll.

The slow pace stayed put through the entire first half, with both sides only carving out a few clear cut tests to the keepers.

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Western United received their best chance in the 12th minute after Max Burgess sent a powerful strike toward Jamie Young, but volleyed the ball too high.

United struggled to run the ball through the Roar’s defence, who banded together to fill up space rather than break United’s plays.

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Brisbane got their own chance at goal in the 33rd minute when Dylan Wenzel-Halls hit a right-footed shot towards the box, but it was intercepted by Josh Risdon.

The energy turned up to average throughout the second half, with United captain and Alessandro Diamanti and Brisbane forward Mirza Muratovic subbed on to try and give both sides their best chance at goal.

It was a decision that worked in Robbie Folwer’s favour, with Muratovic finding the back of the net after a heavy touch from new United defender Tomoki Imai allowed Jay O’Shea to steal and run the ball forward.

The sluggish pace of the first half turned into pure aggression after Brisbane’s assistant coach Darren Davies was left seeing yellow after too much yelling on the sidelines.

Brisbane’s Scott McDonald did not feature against his old club, with a clause in his contract preventing the attacker from facing United.

Western United 0
Brisbane Roar 1: 
Muratovic 61’

Mars Stadium, Ballarat

Referee: Alireza Faghani
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Ilievski
Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar
VAR: Shaun Evans

Western United: Filip KURTO (GK), Andrew DURANTE, Panagiotis KONE, Connor PAIN, Dario JERTEC, Max BURGESS, Besart BERISHA, Josh RISDON, Thiel IRADUKUNDA, Jerry SKOTADIS, Oskar DILLON, Tomoki IMAI, Alessandro DIAMANTI (Sub 54’), Valentino YUEL (Sub 67’), Dylan PIERIAS (Sub 78′)

Unused Subs:
Ryan SCOTT (GK), Apostolos, STAMATELOPOULOS, Joshua CAVALLO, Luke DUZEL

Brisbane Roar:
Jamie YOUNG (GK), Scott NEVILLE, Corey BROWN, Tom ALDRED, Macaulay GILLESPHEY, Jacob PEPPER, Bradden INMAN, Aiden O’NEILL, Jack HINGERT, Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, Jay O’SHEA, Mirza MURATOVIC (Sub 52’), Daniel BOWLES (Sub 78′)

Unused Subs:
Max CROCOMBE (GK), Aaron AMADI-HOLLOWAY, Jake MCGING, Rahmat AKBARI

Feature Image Credit: Brisbane Roar FC

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Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season