Brisbane Roar has scored a 4-1 win against Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand to climb to the summit of the Hyundai A-League.
The win stretches Brisbane-s unbeaten run to eight matches and in the process drew to a close Wellington-s 24-match unbeaten home record.
Brisbane got off to the perfect start in Wellington when local boy Kosta Barbarouses opened the scoring in the third minute.
The chance started with strong work on the ball from Reinaldo on the left, before the ball switched across the park to Ivan Franjic on the right and his cutback was met for an easy finish for the New Zealand international on the edge of the six yard box.
Wellington could have hit back immediately when Paul Ifill beat two players on the Phoenix left but his cross to the near post was put wide by Paul Greenacre.
Leo Bertos went close for the home side two minutes later as Brisbane failed to clear the danger area and the Wellington midfielder pulled the trigger when the ball was delivered to his feet, but a deflection took the effort just wide of the goal.
After the early flurry of chances the match settled down with Wellington seeing a lot of possession in their half of the pitch and Brisbane looking to hit their opponents quickly on the break.
A defensive mix-up between Matt Smith and Michael Theoklitos very nearly presented Ifill with the chance to draw level as the Wellington striker snuck between the pair to latch onto a bouncing ball, but pull his shot just wide of the post.
Tim Brown then pulled out a moment of magic to draw the sides level on 37 minutes.
Brisbane could not clear their lines from a cross into the box and the bobbling ball found its way to Brown who volleyed home from just outside the box.
Just before the break Brisbane regained the lead courtesy of Thomas Broich.
Again Brisbane moved the ball well around the Wellington penalty area and the ball dropped to the German, whose volley took a deflection of Jade North and into Mark Paston-s goal.
Wellington pressed forward immediately, but couldn-t find a goal before half time.
Five minutes into the second stanza and Barbarouses almost scored a screamer as he unleased from fully 25m and Paston just managed to get enough glove on the ball to send it over the bar.
Two minutes later Massimo Murdocca-s unlucky streak in front of goal continued as he connected sweetly with a Reinaldo cross but with Paston beaten the ball struck the inside of the post and bounced to safety.
An inspired substitution paved the way for Brisbane-s third goal of the contest with Jean Carlos Solorzano making the most of his chance off the bench to produce the perfect pass for Murdocca who slotted the ball inside the far post.
Heading into the final 10 minutes Paul Ifill attempted to keep his side in the contest, but his shot from outside the box went just wide of the goal
Dylan MacAllister was next to threaten, but his left-footed effort was directly at Theoklitos in the Brisbane goal.
At the other end only some desperate defending stopped Solorzano from extending the lead after more great lead-up work by Broich down the Roar left, but the Costa Rican-s snapshot was blocked by Andrew Durante.
Another substitute in Mitch Nichols iced the win in stoppage time with a cool finish.
Milan Susak was allowed to throw in to an unmarked Broich who slid the ball to an unmarked Nichols on the edge of the box and he finished between Paston-s legs.
Brisbane Head Coach Ange Postecoglou was justifiably delighted with his side-s performance away from home.
“The boys were fantastic tonight, absolutely brilliant,” Postecoglou said.
“We started really well and I thought we were always threating going forward.
“We defended really well as a unit and even after conceding the goal the boys didn-t drop their heads and we looked solid.”
“After scoring the second goal before half-time, I thought we came out in the second half and tore them apart.”
Particularly pleasing for the Roar mentor was the way his side finished the game strongly despite playing on Saturday while their opposition had the weekend off.
Brisbane also had to overcome the hurdle of playing two games away in the space of four days.
“We really kept our composure towards the end of the match,” he said.
“The substitutes came on and made a massive impact.
“Both Nichols and Solorzano came on and worked hard for the side and that-s what you want out of your substitutions.
“The boys felt really good before the game, even though we-d played on the weekend and were really looking forward to the game.
“I think you could see that out there.”
Brisbane now takes on Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday looking to extend its lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League table against the side which currently sits second.
Kick-off for Saturday night-s game is 8.15pm
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Tim Brown 37-)
Brisbane Roar 4 (Kosta Barbarouses 3-, Thomas Broich 45-, Massimo Murdocca 75-, 17. Mitch Nichols 90’+2)
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Peter O-Leary
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT (11. DANIEL 70-), 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE (4. Nick WARD 79-), 15. Jade NORTH, 17. Vince LIA (23. Dylan MACALLISTER 60-), 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 26. Simon ELLIOTT
Substitute not used: 19. Danny VUKOVIC (gk)
Yellow cards: 15. Jade NORTH (24-), 8. Paul IFILL (68-)
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 74-), 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 11. REINALDO (17. Mitch NICHOLS 78-), 15. Matt McKAY (c), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK (12. Matt MUNDY 90-+3).
Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil