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Late Maclaren goal seals Roar A-League win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/01/2017 Cathy Walshe

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

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 at Westpac Stadium.

Coach John Aloisi was particularly happy with the Roar's first win since mid-December and his team's attacking effort until the final whistle.

"After three losses, which we don't think we deserved, this was a performance we had to have," he said.

"I thought both teams went at each other and played some really good stuff.

"The second half was a bit stop-start, and I thought the Phoenix got on top of us a little but we got back into it. The boys worked really hard and we got the three points in the end."

Disappointed to concede so late, Wellington co-coach Des Buckingham thought the Phoenix had done enough for the draw.

"The game swung quite evenly and the momentum changed throughout," he said.

"We created just as many chances as they did, and we're just disappointed to concede in the 87th minute in the way we did."

Brisbane piled on the midfield pressure from the start and without much possession, the Phoenix - playing their third game in eight days - struggled to find their rhythm.

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

The Phoenix sorely tested Brisbane's defence after halftime, Kosta 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 worked their way back and laid siege to the Wellington goal in the last 15 minutes.

First Brandon Borello then Dimitri Petratos unleashed stinging strikes, Phoenix keeper Glen Moss responding with two impressive 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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