Brisbane Roar are back to winning ways and have extended their 2020 unbeaten streak at home with a complete performance against Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
The Roar got off to a perfect start with Scott McDonald scoring his first Brisbane Roar goal after just three minutes. The 36-year-old was the first to get a boot behind a loose ball inside the box, scoring with a scrambling effort into the bottom right.
McDonald doubled the Roar’s advantage late in the first half with his second of the night, tapping in a Macaulay Gillesphey cross from close range after a run-in behind the Wanderers defensive line.
Wanderers captain Mitchell Duke reduced the deficit early in the second term but the home side regained control 18 minutes later after Bradden Inman was brought down inside the box.
Jay O’Shea sent the Brisbane crowd into a frenzy with a clinical 72nd minute penalty as he joined McDonald in scoring his first goal for the club.
“It was definitely our best performance in the first-half all season. We’ve been starting slowly in games and that was a big thing we had to do tonight, was come out and we came out flying,” O’Shea said post-match.
“I thought we were brilliant in the first half and to get the two goals, it gave us a platform to go and win the game.
“We knew it was a massive game, they’re creeping up on us on the table and it was going to be a six-pointer. We knew we were at home, we had to take the game to them and it was a great three-points.”
Head Coach Robbie Fowler echoed the midfielder’s comments, speaking passionately about the quality of the performance in the 3-1 win.
“We had a plan and we knew what we needed to do. Good value for the win. I thought our boys were magnificent,” Fowler said.
“I thought we were very good, first to everything, first to second balls. It was a real dominant performance. Here at home, we’re unbeaten this year here and we want to keep that going.
“We always say to the players, if there’s an opportunity to get a shot in, you get a shot. At times we’ve probably been a little bit too guilty of overplaying and it was just a case of keep doing what we’re doing in terms of getting into the final, but we do need to take more shots.”
The Roar’s lead was cut in half in the 54th minute when Wanderers captain Mitchell Duke cut inside Tom Aldred to reduce the difference to one.
But Fowler was pleased to see his side remain composed, as they continued to play attacking football in search for their eventual third goal.
“We took it to them. We knew it was going to be a tough game but I think the way we started at the way we took it to them, we made sure it was all about us and the way we played.”
Fowler also spoke about the impact of tonight’s Man of the Match Scott McDonald, whose two goals guided the Roar to a vital victory.
“That [goals] was probably the only thing that he’s lacked since he got here. He’s an infectious character around the place, he’s good on the ball and he’ll bring others into the game.
“His performances have been excellent since he got here. His performances have been a breath of fresh air, probably what we needed.
“We needed someone to come in and have that character and lift the lads.”
The Roar are back at Suncorp Stadium next Friday as they take on Central Coast Mariners in Round 23 (6:30pm KO). Get your tickets HERE.
Brisbane Roar – McDonald 3’ – 1-0
Scott McDonald scores his first Brisbane Roar goal with a scrambling finish from within the six-yard box.
Brisbane Roar – McDonald 38’ – 2-0
McDonald scores his second of the night, getting onto the end of a Gillesphey cross for a tidy finish from close range.
Western Sydney Wanderers – Duke 54’ – 2-1
Duke cuts inside Tom Aldred to score with a clean strike into the bottom left.
Brisbane Roar – Jay O’Shea 72’ – 3-1
Bradden Inman is brought down inside the box after a lengthy run upfield. Jay O’Shea converts with a strike into the left-half of the net.
Hyundai A-League 2019/20: Round 22 –Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday, 6 March
Brisbane Roar: 3 (McDonald 3’, 38’, O’Shea 72’)
Western Sydney: 1 (Duke 54’)