Reds fall just short against Roar

Adelaide United FC gave its all but the Reds could not prevent Brisbane Roar from continuing its remarkable unbeaten run as the runaway league leaders took all three points in a 1-0 result at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight.

Adelaide United FC gave its all but the Reds could not prevent Brisbane Roar from continuing its remarkable unbeaten run as the runaway league leaders took all three points in a 1-0 result at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight.

A solitary strike from lively Roar forward Jean Carlos Solorzano in the 69th minute was enough to decide the top of the table clash, the result stretching the gap between the top two to 11 points, both teams with six games left to play.

Reds Head Coach Rini Coolen could not have asked for a more committed performance, but in the end one piece of luck, a clinical finish and some fatiguing Adelaide United bodies saw the Roar make it 19 consecutive games undefeated to edge them ever closer to the Premiers Plate.

United-s five games in 17 days looks to have eventually caught up with them as Coolen was left with a number of injury concerns, none more so than the suspected broken leg to midfielder Joe Keenan, heading into next Sunday-s encounter against Melbourne Victory. Keenan will have x-rays tomorrow to find out the prognosis.

The Reds invaded Brisbane-s penalty area enough times throughout the 90 minutes and defended stoutly, but Coolen will rue his side-s missed opportunities as the final lethal finish deserted the home side time and again.

“We did well in the first half, we stopped them playing football,” Coolen said.

“The way I saw it we were the better team. We had good transition moments, only the last pass or the last run or the last shot was not good enough, but we stopped them playing football the way they prefer in the first half.”

“If you don-t play a terrific game, which they didn-t do, and still score in one chance a nice goal, it also says that you-re a good team, so we did everything we could today but it wasn-t enough.”

“A lot of things we did well, the only thing missing was the last touch should be a better decision and should create some more chances, that was the only thing, and it-s a real important thing, that we didn-t do well today.”

Reds fans could have been mistaken for thinking finals had come early to Hindmarsh as the clash between the top two lived up to its billing. Coolen fielded an unchanged line up from the one that defeated Sydney FC midweek, captain Travis Dodd the only inclusion as he took up a place on the bench.

It took just five minute for the Reds to show they meant business against the Roar as Cassio unleashed a thunderbolt from the left hand side of the penalty area that stunned Michael Theoklitos, the Roar keeper somehow managing to parry the ball onto the woodwork.

But the Roar have not gone unbeaten since September by chance and they started to warm into the contest with the passing and movement that has been a feature of their success.

Theoklitos had another close call in the 26th minute when Iain Ramsay sent in a purposeful ball from the right after some hard work by Keenan in midfield, Sergio van Dijk narrowly failing to reach the cross and score against his former side.

A Roar counter attack led by Solorzano caused the Reds to go into survival mode just after the half hour, Nigel Boogaard doing well to hold up the Costa Rican, Mark Birighitti getting a vital hand to the effort before Fyfe cleared the ball a metre from the goal line.

There were no goals to show from the opening 45 minutes and after a more sedate opening to the second half, Roar midfielder Mitch Nichols almost pounced with an overhead kick in the 58th minute, but his attempt landed on the roof of the net.

Nichols then missed another opportunity after Birighitti gifted him with a chance to fire on goal after slipping as he cleared the ball down field.

Coolen went to his bench for a lift bringing Dodd on for Adam Hughes, the Roar also sensing the game being there to win as Henrique returned for his first game since suffering a broken arm.

The decisive goal came two minutes later as Nichols- through ball took an unlucky deflection off Iain Fyfe, the ball falling invitingly in front of Solorzano who coolly slotted his shot across Birighitti into the back of the net to silence the vocal home crowd.

Henrique then cannoned a shot into the post as the Roar went in for the kill but the Reds were not ready to lie down and in the 79th minute they came agonisingly close to equalising.

Van Dijk nodded a far post header back into the mixer from a Ramsay corner, but again Theoklitos did enough as he kept the ball from crossing the goal line among a crowded six yard box.

Fyfe then went inches from a freak equaliser in the 88th minute as the defender-s effort from near half way had Theoklitos stretching to tip the ball over the cross bar.

The Reds were finishing with a rush but there would be no joy as Brisbane firmed as top of the table favourites and left the Reds with the task in front of them to hang on to second spot.

Match Details Adelaide United FC 0 Brisbane Roar 1 (Solorzano 69-) Referee: Matthew Breeze Crowd: 14,420 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

Adelaide United: 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Nigel BOOGAARD (2.Robert CORNTHWAITE 85-), 4.Iain FYFE, 6.CASSIO (18.Fabian BARBIERO 78-), 8.Adam HUGHES (13.Travis DODD 67-), 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 26.Joe KEENAN

Substitutes not used: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) Yellow cards: Cornthwaite 90- Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar: 1.Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Matt SMITH, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Shane STEFANUTTO, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 7.Kosta BARBAROUSES (12.Matt MUNDY 90+5-), 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (10.HENRIQUE 67-), 9.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 14.Rocky VISCONTE (18.Luke BRATTAN 46-), 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 23.Milan SUSAK

Substitutes not used: 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk) Yellow cards: Nichols 37-, Susak 40- Red cards: Nil