Sport Football Roar stay top, Sydney into second

Roar stay top, Sydney into second

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Brisbane defeated Perth 1-0 to claim a club record-equalling sixth home win in a row and stay top of the A-League on Saturday.

An undermanned but determined Glory made the Roar wait until the 57th minute before Albanian marksman Besart Berisha found a way to break the deadlock and seal the three points for the hosts.

Berisha’s third goal of the season came after he was found in the box by a smart Thomas Broich pass, the striker taking a couple of quick touches to create space before blasting past Glory `keeper Danny Vukovic.

Berisha, who scored on his return from injury last week in the Roar’s 3-1 win over Western Sydney, nearly had two in three minutes with the 12,308 fans at Suncorp Stadium on their feet when his strike from the edge of the area was tipped wide by Vukovic.

The victory was a deserved one for the Roar who dominated possession and chances in the game against a Glory team without injured duo Scott Jamieson and William Gallas or suspended captain Jacob Burns.

Coach Alistair Edwards’ woes deepened in the 34th minute when New Zealand international Shane Smeltz limped off with an ankle injury to continue his disrupted start to the campaign.

But, in a backs to the wall display, the Glory nearly snatched the lead after soaking up most of the home team’s pressure in the first half.

Nearing the end of the opening term Glory captain Michael Thwaite headed a corner on target but Roar defender Luke Brattan’s goalline clearance ensured the hosts didn’t suffer a sucker-punch going into the break.

That was as close as the Glory got though with the Roar shielding debutant goalkeeper Matt Acton well to secure the win.

Next week the Roar are on the road against Adelaide while Perth will be hoping to bounce back when they host Wellington.

Elsewhere, surging Sydney chalked up a club record fourth straight win, with new striker Ranko Despotovic again finding the net in a 2-0 home victory over Newcastle.

The 30 year-old Serbian striker, who scored the match-winner against Wellington last week after making his debut off the bench, produced a longer super sub cameo on Saturday.

His match-clinching goal on the hour pushed Sydney up to second spot.

Despotovic entered the game at Allianz Stadium after 43 minutes, when skipper Alessandro Del Piero walked off with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.

Del Piero, who struggled to have any impact, was booked by referee Ben Williams for leaving the pitch before the officials were notified of any substitution.

Any frustration Sydney felt then dissipated two minutes later, when they took the lead on the stroke of halftime.

Joel Chianese, who scored the opening goal of the season against the Jets seven weeks earlier, again ended a scoreless stalemate.

He pounced on a fine cross from left back Ali Abbas, controlled the ball with his first touch and drilled it past goalkeeper Mark Birighitti with his second.