Adelaide United inflicted four goals on Brisbane Roar for the second straight week in powering to a 4-1 win at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
The Reds’ bright start earned them a lead inside 20 minutes through Corey Brown’s own goal, before Henrique pulled Brisbane level courtesy of a controversial penalty just after the restart.
However, the visitors replied with intent as Bruce Djite led the charge with two quick goals before Marcelo Carrusca wrapped up three points with a fine late strike.
0-1 Corey Brown OG (19’) – There was some fortune involved but, having sliced through for a third time, Adelaide’s opener was not unwarranted. Theo smartly denied Pablo Sanchez following pinpoint lead-up play from Isaias and Craig Goodwin, but the ball ricocheted off fullback Corey Brown and dribbled over the line.
1-1 – Henrique (50’) – Having been central to the controversy of the penalty being awarded – appearing to trip over his own feet as much as any Adelaide defender – Henrique stepped up to send Eugene Galekovic the wrong way and momentarily equalise for the hosts.
1-2 – Bruce Djite (56’) – Adelaide responded immediately as Carrusca whipped an excellent cross to the far post, where Jack Hingert was punished for tunnelling Dylan McGowan under the ball. Jarred Gillett pointed to the spot for a second time and Bruce Djite coolly ended his near 24-hour wait for a goal.
1-3 – Bruce Djite (67’) – With the weight of a barren run finally off his broad shoulders, Djite suddenly made it two in just over 10 minutes. The former Socceroos striker benefited from Tarek Elrich’s defence-splitting pass from the back to fire through Michael Theo for a two-goal lead.
1-4 Marcelo Carrusca (90’+4) – Tarek Elrich slalomed across the face of Brisbane Roar’s defence before laying off for Carrusca to stroke sumptuously into the top far corner.
Adelaide’s rise from a spluttering start to the season has required just the kind of mettle they exhibited in quickly bouncing back from a questionable penalty decision.
While many sides might have let frustration blur their focus on the greater goal, Guillermo Armor’s men responded with resilience and intent to power two goals clear in the ensuing minutes.
Having been on the side of a favourable penalty decision shortly after the restart, Brisbane coughed up parity almost as soon as it had been secured.
The hosts had toiled for over half an hour to break down a stoic United only to concede two preventable goals within 20 minutes of pulling level.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
John Aloisi is still searching for his ideal midfield mix. The Roar coach kept faith with Javier Hervas despite an error-riddled first start away to Melbourne Victory, but another underwhelming performance could force a change for next weekend’s trip to Sydney FC.
Devante Clut was handed only 15 minutes off the bench and, while the impending return of Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Borrello will add potency, another goalscoring threat of Clut’s ilk would be warmly welcomed in the starting 11.
Just moments after entering the game as a substitute for Bruce Djite, and with only five minutes of play remaining, promising young striker Eli Babalj suffered a suspected ACL injury when his knee buckled in planting back on the ground from an aerial contest.
THE FINAL WORD
Adelaide United’s eighth straight match without defeat means they are secure inside the top six and on course to rise even higher.
The stunning return to form of striker Bruce Djite is now even more important given the late, ugly injury suffered by Eli Babalj.
Brisbane Roar, meanwhile, will endure questions about their title credentials following a second straight week in which they shipped four.
Brisbane Roar: Theo (gk), Hingert, Bowles, North, Brown, Corona, Hervas (Lustica 65’), McKay, Petratos (76’), Henrique, Broich
Adelaide United: Galekovic, Elsey, McGowan, La Rocca, Elrich, Isaias, Mells, Carrusca, Sanchez (Dugandzic 68’), Djite (Babalj 81’ (Kamau 86’)), Goodwin
Scorers: Brown OG 19’ Henrique 50’ Djite 56’, 67’
Red Cards: Nil
Yellow Cards: North 41’, McGowan 45’, La Rocca 48’, Sanchez 52’, Carrusca 69’, Clut 90’+2
Conditions: 27°C, dry
Attendance: 12,923 @ Suncorp Stadium