Business as usual for Brisbane

by Neil Sherwin

Brisbane Roar extended their unbeaten run, and stretched their lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League, with a comfortable 2-0 win over the North Queensland Fury in Townsville on Saturday. A brace from the in-form Kostas Barbarouses  gave the Roar the three points and they haven’t tasted defeat now in 17 games. The New Zealander, who was overlooked for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, opened the scoring after just seven minutes when he latched on to a superb pass by Thomas Broich to score past Justin Pasfield. Barbarouses notched his second on 76 minutes when he was fed by skipper Matt McKay to slot home his ninth goal of the season.

The gap at the top is now ten points after second placed Adelaide United’s surprise home defeat to the Melbourne Heart. Sergio van Dijk has given the hosts the lead right on half time with an excellent header but late goals from Simon Colosimo and John Aloisi turned the game on its head. The half time introduction of Josip Skoko appeared the galvanise the Heart into a spirited fightback and, having enjoyed the better of the second period, they equalised in the 89th minute courtesy of Colosimo’s first goal for three years. As the game ticked into its second minute of injury time, the ball dropped to Aloisi inside the area and he made no mistake with an outside of the boot finish.

Melbourne Victory put two past Perth Glory without reply at AAMI Stadium to leave the West Australians rooted to the bottom of the league. Forme Socceroos international Archie Thompson linked up superbly with strike partner Robbie Kruse to open the scoring. Howver he injured his hamstring in the process and took no further part in the game. Glory rarely threatened in what was another lacklustre performance and their fate was sealed just after the hour when Rody Vargas headed home Carlos Hernandez’s corner.

Wellington Phoenix were the big scorers at the weekend, puttin four past a shell shocked Newcastle Jets at Westpac Stadium. Midfielder Tim Brown scored their first, heading home Chris Greenacre’s cross before Marco Rojas doubled the lead just after the half hour. Greenacre then got on the scoresheet before the interval to put the result on doubt, and Dylan Macallister put the icing on the cake with his goal late on. The 4-0 win did come at a price though as star winger Paul Ifill was stretchered off. Thankfully, subsequent x-ray results showed no serious injury for the former Millwall man.

Sunday’s only fixture, featuring Gold Coast United and the Central Coast Mariners, had to be abandoned after just twenty minutes do to a waterlooged pitch. It was another crushing blow to United who had opened the doors of Skilled Park and let spectators in for free in a bid to boost attendances. More than ten thousand brave souls took up the club’s offer, and saw Adam Kwasnik miss an early penalty for the visitors before referee Chris Beath called a halt to proceedings. The game will be replayed at a later date.

Round 20

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Sydney FC v Melbourne Heart

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United

Brisbane Roar v Gold Coast United

Monday, 27 December 2010

Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

North Queensland Fury v Wellington Phoenix

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Adelaide United v Sydney FC

Perth Glory BYE

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