A perfectly placed goal from striker Kosta Barbarouses, against his old club Wellington Phoenix, was enough to give Brisbane Roar their second successive 1-0 home win.
The match was in the balance for much of the contest, with Brisbane edging their opponents for much of the match.
The Phoenix, fresh from extending their unbeaten home record to 21 games, had never won at Suncorp and Brisbane were out to ensure that statistic didn-t change.
Brazilian livewire Henrique made his side-s intentions clear from the opening whistle.
Henrique tested the Phoenix defence in the early minutes with a low driving effort, but Wellington goalkeeper Mark Paston sent the ball to safety with a decent save.
Towering midfielder Erik Paartalu rose above the Phoenix defence to connect with the ball from the resulting corner, but his header was the wrong side of the crossbar.
At the opposite end of the field, Wellington-s Dylan Macallister drew the first touch of the game from Michael Theoklitos in the fourth minute with a soaring shot that the Roar ‘keeper pushed wide for a corner.
The Roar attacked with pace and fluency, and had the majority of possession in first half but were unable to find the elusive goal that would put them in front.
Against the run of play, Macallister had another good chance for the away side when he got his head to a corner but the quick-reacting Theoklitos pushed the ball away from goal and was headed to safety by Mitch Nichols on the inside of the post.
Brisbane had two golden chances to take the lead just before the break, but Paston showed signs of the impressive form that kept him between the posts for all three of the All Whites- games in South Africa, and collected the ball from shots by Nichols and Thomas Broich just moments apart.
Injecting some fresh legs into the game, Roar coach Ange Postecoglou replaced the hardworking Nichols with Reinaldo early in the second half and the Roar immediately stepped up the tempo.
After some impressive build up play, defender Shane Stefanutto curled the ball into the penalty area but when a deflection landed at the feet of Broich, his first time volley was just off target.
Four minutes later, Brisbane finally had their deserved lead, with Barbarouses scoring his first goal in Roar colours after a precise pass from captain Matt McKay.
Against the club who signed him as a teenager, placing the right-footed strike into the back of the net could not have been sweeter for the 20-year-old New Zealander who narrowly missed out on selection for the All Whites World Cup squad.
The goal gave the Roar even greater momentum in the attacking third, and they almost had a second when substitute Reinaldo hit a thunderbolt goalwards, but Paston did well to tip the ball away.
Referee Chris Beath blew the whistle shortly after, giving Brisbane another home win and maintaining their impressive home record against the Phoenix.
Three points was a welcome birthday present for Roar coach Postecoglou who celebrated his 45th birthday on the sideline.
“I was on my own all day, my family is in Melbourne, so I wasn-t planning on doing anything so when seven and a half thousand people came to say happy birthday it was a good way to end it,” Postecoglou said.
“The boys did the right thing by their coach and delivered the presents and I-m pretty pleased.”
Reflecting on his team-s performance, Postecoglou took pride in the way they conducted themselves under pressure.
“To the players- credit, it-s not just about playing good football, you need to show resilience as well and they-re a good side and they made it hard for us,” he said.
”They were very physical, pretty direct in the way they play and put us under some pressure I thought we handled it pretty well.
“From that point of view, I was pleased for the players but I still felt that if we were patient enough that the goal would come and it did.”
Brisbane Roar 1
Wellington Phonenix 0
Friday, 27 August 2010
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Local kick-off: 8.00pm
Referee: Chris Beath
Brisbane Roar line-up: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (8. Massimo MURDOCCA), 10. HENRIQUE, 15. Matt McKAY (c), 17. Mitch NICHOLS (11. REINALDO 63-), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
Substitutes Not Used: 12. Matt MUNDY, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Wellington Phoenix line-up: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE (13. Troy HEARFIELD 80-), 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Dylan MACALLISTER (14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC 66-)
Substitutes Not Used: 11. DANIEL, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk)
Yellow Cards: Paul IFILL 11-, Vince LIA 35-, Tim BROWN 45-+2, Andrew DURANTE 54-, Mirjan PAVLOVIC 75-
Red Cards: Nil