The A-League’s sleeping giant may not be fully awake, but Brisbane managed to rub the sleep from its eyes with a 3-1 thumping of Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium.
After consecutive losses that had given their pursuit of the A-League premiership the speed wobbles, the Roar played themselves into form with a hat-trick of second half goals against the battling club from the west.
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Glory goes to Brisbane Roar
A last-minute goal for Perth proved too little too late, as the Brisbane Roar defeat the Glory 3-1 on Friday night.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe wasn’t completely enamoured with Brisbane’s effort, labelling the home side ‘toothless’ in the first half before they began to dominate possession and the class rose to the top.
“I thought they were a bit toothless in the first half. They played in front of us and not really through us. But once they got the ascendancy they were good value for the win,” Lowe said.
“I think with us giving them two goals, that allowed them to get back to form. If I drop an invoice into Mike he might pay me out.”
Mulvey might be busy handing out bonuses to Thomas Broich and Ivan Franjic first. Socceroo call-up Franjic opened Brisbane’s scoring with a header in the 56th minute, with Broich beating Danny Vukovic with a curving strike half an hour later to make it three.
Liam Miller finished a comical goal in between, while Shane Smeltz provided some late consolation for the Glory when he pounced on a poor pass from Roar skipper Matt Smith.
Brisbane regain a seven-point lead on top of the ladder with six games to play and in reality, needed an emphatic results against the lowly Glory to put some spring back in their step.
Questions were being asked about the squad’s desire and whether they had embarked on their run too early in the season. Mulvey believes this result puts those doubts to rest.
“Very convincing. We were jittery early on. I think that was a carry on from the expectations and last week. But after that, I thought we played some extremely fluid football,” Mulvey said.
“What I was pleased about was that the players stood up. We stood up to the suggestions we needed to move quicker and use our mind a little bit quicker. And when you haven’t scored for a couple of games, that first goal is important.”
Certainly, Brisbane’s body language changed after Franjic stretched his neck for the header that opened the scoring. Perth had frustrated Brisbane for 55 minutes but the chances came thick and fast as the Roar upped the tempo.
“I think the steam gets let off sometimes, if you score a goal. It was one of those days when you needed that first goal. I thought you could see that goal lifted the crowd,” Mulvey said.
“I thought some of the goals were excellent tonight. The first goal, the third goal… the second goal wasn’t quite to plan. But we’ll take them.”
Brisbane had the most simple two-on-one – it almost looked like training – in the prelude to their second but Besart Berisha and Liam Miller nearly managed to make a horrible mess. Miller eventually controlled a wild pass, then converted on the second attempt.
How the Roar frank this form in coming weeks will be intriguing. They play Adelaide next Sunday at home and another win could make matters extremely difficult for the chasing pack.
Mulvey, at least, seemed to think the mojo was back.
“A wise man just told me that when we score first, we’ll give somebody a touch up. And I agree with that,” he said.
“We’ve still got a long way to get to our top quality but that was some way towards it. We played ourselves into form.”