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Late Maclaren goal seals Roar A-League win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/01/2017

Brisbane have ended their five-week winless A-League run with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.

The fourth-placed Roar, who haven't won in Wellington for more than three years, had to work for Saturday's win, with Jamie Maclaren sliding home the winner in a well-worked 87th-minute move.

The Phoenix had their chances, particularly in a busy second half, but were again punished for their inability to find the crucial finish.

Brisbane had started strongly, ramping up the midfield pressure from the first whistle, and without the luxury of time on the ball, Wellington struggled to find their rhythm.

Roar winger Tommy Oar proved a constant menace but it was a Jack Hingert snap-shot in the ninth minute which first tested Phoenix keeper Glen Moss.

Four minutes later, Oar's powerful strike from just outside the box also had Moss at full stretch.

Roy Krishna's pace up front provided Wellington's best chances on the counter-attack, but Roar custodian Michael Theo remained largely untested until late in the first half.

Slick interplay between Krishna and Roly Bonevacia opened up space in the middle in the 35th minute but the Dutchman couldn't get the finish.

Both teams had their chances as the first half drew to a close.

Roar playmaker Dimitri Petratos's free kick was parried away by Moss in the 41st minute, then Krishna launched a probing ball in behind the Brisbane defence, only for Kosta Barbarouses' volley to find the side netting.

Wellington sorely tested Brisbane's defence after the restart, Barbarouses sparking the 6449-strong crowd into life when he nutmegged Luke de Vere.

The cross into Shane Smeltz was overhit, but the signs were ominous for the Roar, who were forced into survival mode for long stretches.

The visitors lost key defender Corey Brown at the 70-minute mark, the 23-year-old left back forced from the field after being clattered by Jacob Tratt.

Brisbane, coming off three straight losses, worked their way back and laid siege to the Wellington goal in the last 15 minutes.

First Borello then Petratos unleashed stinging strikes, Moss responding with two top-drawer saves.

The game looked destined for a scoreless draw until Maclaren glided past Phoenix centreback Andrew Durante and crossed for Borello, who drew Moss then found Maclaren for the simple finish and his eighth goal of the season.

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