McDonald’s double lifts Roar to 3-1 win over Wanderers

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A double from Scott McDonald has consolidated Brisbane Roar’s position in the A-League finals race following a 3-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Roar coach Robbie Fowler has bemoaned his side’s sluggish starts throughout the season but there were no such troubles as former Socceroo McDonald got Brisbane off the mark in the third minute with his first goal for the club.

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McDonald found the ball at his feet after Western Sydney failed to clear a Brisbane free-kick and reacted quickly to turn and slot the ball past Wanderers keeper Daniel Lopar.

The Roar continued to dominate proceedings throughout the first half, maintaining possession and creating plenty of attacking chances as the Wanderers appeared to struggle with the hot and humid conditions on a wet night in Brisbane.

Brisbane were rewarded for their intensity with a second goal in the 38th minute after McDonald pounced on Brad Inman’s low ball across the face of goal, with the VAR overturning an initial call of offside to award the goal.

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The Roar kept their foot on the pedal following McDonald’s second goal, controlling the tempo of the match as the Wanderers struggled to create any real threat to Jamie Young’s goal.

Heading into halftime the Roar led for only the second time this season and the Wanderers may well have felt fortunate to have only conceded twice after only maintaining 28 per cent of possession.

The Wanderers started stronger as play resumed in the second half, with forward pair Mitchell Duke and Simon Cox asking early questions of the Roar defence on the counter.

Duke finally broke through for the Wanderers in the 54th minute, sprinting forward from near the halfway line before cutting into the box and striking the ball low into the near corner to score for his fifth consecutive A-League game.

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The game threatened to open up for the Wanderers 15 minutes later as each side upped their tempo and began to create chances.

Brisbane’s opportunity to put the result beyond doubt came in the 70th minute after Inman was brought down by Wanderers defender Matt Jurman in the box.

McDonald declined the opportunity to take the penalty and it was left to Jay O’Shea to step forward and take the spot-kick. The Irish midfielder made no mistake to score his first A-League goal for the Roar.

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The Roar held on to take the three points and continue their strong form in the new year as they remain undefeated at home in 2020, with four of their last six matches still to be played at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar sit fifth on the ladder with 29 points.

Brisbane Roar: 3 (Scott McDonald 3’ 38’, Jay O’Shea 72’ (pen))
Western Sydney Wanderers: 1 (Mitchell Duke 54’)

Suncorp Stadium
Crowd: 8349

Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referees: Nathan MacDonald, Andrew Lindsay
Fourth Official: Adam Kersey
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Brisbane Roar: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Scott NEVILLE, Corey BROWN, Tom ALDRED (C), Macaulay GILLESPHEY, Bradden INMAN, Aiden O’NEILL, Jack HINGERT, Jay O’SHEA, Mirza MURATOVIC (Dylan WENZEL-HALLS 83’), Scott MCDONALD (Kai TREWIN 90+2’)

Unused subs: Max CROCOMBE (GK), Daniel BOWLES, Jai INGHAM, George MELLS, Rahmat AKBARI

Western Sydney Wanderers: Daniel LOPAR (GK), Dylan MCGOWAN, Matthew JURMAN, Patrick ZIEGLER, Tate RUSSELL, Mathieu CORDIER, Pirmin SCHWEGLER (Kosta GROZOS 83’), Nicholas SULLIVAN (Jordan O’DOHERTY 73’), Nicolai MÜLLER (Mohamed ADAM 76’), Mitchell DUKE (C), Simon COX

Unused subs: Nicholas SUMAN (GK), Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, Noah PAGDEN, Jarrod CARLUCCIO

Featured image credit: Brisbane Roar

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Mathew Perry
Former snowmaker, TomTom salesman and subpar barista giving sports journalism a whirl. QUT Journalism student covering Brisbane Roar FC in the A-League and W-League.