Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic and marquee man Thomas Broich have restored Brisbane Roar’s A-League breathing space by starring in a much-needed 3-1 win over embattled Perth Glory.
The two most influential players on Suncorp Stadium, Franjic scored the opening goal and Broich the last as the Roar snapped out of their late-season rut on Friday night.
The emphatic victory sees their ladder lead return to seven points over Western Sydney Wanderers, who play Newcastle on Sunday, with six rounds left.
Brisbane were held scoreless in the opening half but dominated possession and never looked like conceding after Sidnei Sciola wasted two golden chances in the opening moments for the Glory.
Perth are now without a victory in seven matches and sit at the bottom of the table.
They had frustrated the competition pace-setters with their compact defensive structure but the pressure mounted throughout and the dam wall finally burst in the 57th minute.
Broich curled a perfect free-kick over Glory defender Jack Clisby at the far post where right back Franjic, named in Ange Postecoglou’s 23-man Socceroos squad this week, headed home.
Coming off two upset losses to Newcastle and Melbourne Heart that had their ladder lead reduced to four points over Western Sydney, the goal released the pressure valve for the Roar.
“It broke our drought and it was very important,” Franjic said.
Brisbane could have won by more as they ran riot in the final half-hour but were somewhat fortunate to gain their second goal when ex-Glory midfielder Liam Miller and Besart Berisha almost butchered a gift two-on-one chance served up by Brandon O’Neill.
Perth keeper Danny Vukovic almost kept them out but Miller eventually found the back of the net.
In stark contrast, Broich was all skill and class as he curved a beautiful long-range strike into the top-right corner of Vukovic’s goal in the 85th minute.
Shane Smeltz gained a late consolation goal at the end of a horrible week, including two instances of infighting, for Perth when he intercepted an errant Matt Smith pass across the face of goal.
The Glory will be kicking themselves for wasting two opportunities given to them by sloppy Roar defending in the opening three minutes.
Sidnei fired to the left with the first but should have done much better with the second when a poor first touch denied the Brazilian a one-on-one with Michael Theo, who then produced a fine stop when Sidnei’s shot finally arrived.