Brisbane Roar has broken its record of never having won at the Sydney Football Stadium in the Hyundai A-League against Sydney FC with a 1-0 win.
A first half strike from Kosta Barbarouses was enough to secure a vital three points for the Roar as they extended their unbeaten run to 16 games and their lead atop the Hyundai A-League table to seven points.
Luke DeVere very nearly gave Brisbane a carbon copy of the start to the match between the sides at the same venue earlier in the season when he met a Matt McKay corner with his head on the near post but, having scored the first time around, put his effort wide of the mark.
Sydney keeper Ivan Necevski was called into action on 13 minutes when he stopped a lashed Erik Paartalu free-kick and was quick enough to smother a Barbarouses effort on goal from the rebound.
There was very little goal mouth action as the half wore on as Brisbane probed the Sydney defence for opportunities until a perfectly timed Thomas Broich run was rewarded by an equally perfectly weighted pass.
Broich continued into the space before unloading a powerful shot at the Sydney goal with Necevski did well to save low to his left.
Sydney were defending resolutely, but Brisbane finally had the goal befitting their play through Barbarouses on 41 minutes.
Mitch Nichols played the perfect ball to the feet of Jean Carlos Solorzano on the edge of the box, the Costa Rican clipped a delightful over the defence for Barbarouses to run on to and beat Necevski with a good finish from a tight angle.
Just before the break Barbarouses nearly had a second when the ball fell to the Kiwi international in the box, but he flashed his shot just wide.
Sydney came out with much more purpose at the start of the second half, introducing Alex Brosque into the action and the former Roar player looked dangerous from the off.
Brisbane nearly conceded through some lax defending on the edge of their box when Brosque dispossessed DeVere before rolling the ball into the path of fellow substitute Dimitri Petratos, but Michael Theoklitos was up to the task of keeping the well-struck shot out.
The effort came in the midst of a period of dominance from the home side as Brisbane looked to find their feet in the second half.
The contest turned tense with Brisbane soaking up the pressure as Sydney looked to keep their record of never having lost to the Roar in Sydney intact.
Rocky Visconte was introduced with seven minutes remaining and very nearly doubled the lead with a sublime volley from the edge of the box which was well saved by Necevski.
Visconte had an opportunity from the resulting corner when the ball somehow found its way to him on the edge of the six yard box but he couldn-t deflect the ball into the net, instead lobbing it in the air for Necevski to gather.
Ivan Franjic called Necevski into action again in time added on at the end of the match, cutting inside from the edge of the box before hitting a left-footed effort at goal which needed saving.
In the end Brisbane didn-t need the security of a second goal, keeping a clean sheet to take home the three points.
Match winner Barbarouses said the side was aware of the continued run of unbeaten games, but it wasn-t taking the focus off how they approached the matches week-to-week.
“(The run) is 16 games now and I guess that-s always in the back of our head,” Barbarouses said.
“But we just want to continue our hard work and it-s paying off on the pitch.
“We always want to knock up wins and it-s no different whatever game we play, we come to get three points.
“We knew they were going to come out fighting and desperate in the second half.
“We hung on a little bit and I still think we had good possession but just not as good as we had in the first half.
On his own performance, Barbarouses said he was happy to have his first goal in six games.
“Other players have been scoring so there-s not really been any pressure on me to score,” he said.
“But coming into the last nine games or so and heading into the finals I want to break double digits.”
Sydney FC 0
Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Kosta BARBAROUSES 41-)
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Sydney FC squad: 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN (24. Dimitri PETRATOS 46-), 9. Bruno CAZARINE(2. Sebastian RYALL 80-), 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 16. Terry ANTONIS (14. Alex BROSQUE 46-), 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN,
Substitutes not used: 1. Liam REDDY (gk)
Yellow cards: Shannon COLE (25-), Hayden FOXE (90-)
Red cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (14. Rocky VISCONTE 83-), 15. Matt McKAY (c) 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
Substitutes not used: 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21. James MEYER
Yellow cards: Matt SMITH (49-)
Red cards: Nil