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Clinical Roar too good for Melbourne City

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/11/2016 Vince Rugari
Corey Brown of the Roar and Luke Brattan of Melbourne City face off during the round five A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City FC at Suncorp Stadium on November 4, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. © Getty Images Corey Brown of the Roar and Luke Brattan of Melbourne City face off during the round five A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City FC at Suncorp Stadium on November 4, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.

Brisbane Roar have issued an A-League statement of intent with a clinical 1-0 win over Melbourne City.

Jamie Maclaren's second goal in as many games was all the Roar needed to book a third successive win and rise to second on the ladder after a quality display at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The result was built on defence, with Brisbane becoming the first team to hold City's star-studded attack goalless this season.

But if anything the scoreboard flattered the visitors, who struggled to contain the Roar's surprise counter-attacking tactics.

The crowd of 20,198 - boosted by Tim Cahill, who played a full match - was Brisbane's biggest regular-season attendance since Sydney FC marquee Alessandro Del Piero's visit in October 2013.

However, neither the Socceroo great nor strike partner Bruno Fornaroli had much impact, and City finished with zero shots on target.

The Roar, who usually like to dominate possession at home, had just 37 per cent of the ball in the first half but looked by far the more threatening side going forward.

Seemingly content to sit back and mop up opposition mistakes, Brisbane's uncharacteristic approach paid dividends.

Maclaren's 11th-minute goal came from such a counter-surge, which featured key contributions from Brett Holman, Thomas Broich and Tommy Oar.

Holman carved out the opening with a neat dribble, Broich provided the killer pass to Oar, and the fringe Socceroo winger's stray touch as he rounded goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis was rescued and then smashed into the back of the net by Maclaren, who wheeled away in jubilation.

Brisbane had ample opportunities to add a second goal but lacked the composure to convert, although Bouzanis did save strongly in the 85th minute to deny Maclaren, who will join the Socceroos next week before their World Cup qualifier in Thailand.

City had their moments in the second half but couldn't crack the Roar's strong rearguard, with centre-back Luke DeVere particularly impressive.

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