Phoenix players celebrate after scoring a goal during in the win over Brisbane Roar.
Phoenix players celebrate after scoring a goal during in the win over Brisbane Roar. GLENN HUNT

No excuses as Roar slips to shock defeat

FOOTBALL: Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi refused to be critical of his team after their shock 2-1 home loss to Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

With third spot up for grabs on the ladder, the Roar were pedestrian in suffering just their third defeat at Suncorp Stadium in 13 months.

In contrast, the Phoenix rose to the occasion after a tumultuous week that included the previous Saturday's 5-1 home loss to Melbourne City and the axing of three players - Roly Bonevacia, Tom Doyle and Ryan Lowry - for breaching team protocol.

The win was the Phoenix's first since their 3-0 success against Melbourne Victory on January 17.

Brisbane, whose hectic playing and travelling schedule has caught up with them in terms of injuries and Saturday's flat performance, have little time to dwell on the loss.

They leave on Sunday for South Korea, where they will meet Ulsan Hyundai in an AFC Champions League Group E clash on Tuesday night.

"We don't like to look for excuses because that's not the way we are at Brisbane Roar but we're pretty stretched at the moment," Aloisi said.

"Our schedule hasn't been easy, but the positive out of (the defeat) is that there weren't any more injuries - that's a big positive for us.

"I can't fault the boys' workrate. They just fought right to the end. Of course they were a little bit flat, and that also hinders our way of playing, but we just gave it everything, but just didn't have enough."

Despite that, Brisbane had a great chance in the 27th minute to take the lead when Thomas Broich ran on to a perfectly weighted Brandon Borrello pass.

However, Wellington's former Gold Coast United goalkeeper Glen Moss spread himself well to deny Brisbane's marquee man.

And it was another former Gold Coast star in Shane Smeltz who put the Phoenix ahead in the 32nd minute, when he took advantage of poor Roar defending to head home a cross from over-lapping fullback Adam Parkhouse.

The Phoenix doubled their lead on the hour mark, with Roy Krishna netting his 10th goal of the season after being found at the near post by Barbarouses.

The hosts finally arose from their slumber in the 75th minute when Borrello produced a sweet first-time finish following good work from substitute Joey Katebian, who had come on for an out-of-sorts Jamie Maclaren.

Poor Roar defending meant Smeltz was left totally alone at the far post, and he took full advantage, heading home a pinpoint cross from overlapping fullback Adam Parkhouse.

The Phoenix doubled their lead on the hour mark, with Roy Krishna netting his 10th goal of the season after being found at the near post by Barbarouses.

The hosts finally arose from their slumber in the 75th minute when Borrello produced a sweet first-time finish following good work from substitute Joey Katebian, who had come on for a disappointing Jamie Maclaren.

But it was too little, too late for the Roar, who failed to find what would have been an undeserved equaliser against the gallant visitors.

Phoenix head coach Des Buckingham was full of praise for his team.

"The effort that the players have shown tonight has been fantastic," Buckingham said.

"After what has been quite a difficult week, I'm very pleased for every single player and the football club."

The Roar's defeat opened the door for Perth Glory, which leapfrogged the Brisbane team into third place on the A-League ladder with a 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

A deflected goal for Chris Harold gave the Glory the lead in the first half with the second coming deep into second-half stoppage time from Joel Chianese, his first goal for Perth.

Melbourne Victory consolidated second place with a 2-1 win over bottom club Adelaide United thanks to goals from Marco Rojas and Besart Berisha.

News Corp Australia


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