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A-League

  • 18 February 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
  • Referee: J. Gillett
  • • Attendance: 18523
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Brisbane Roar 3-2 Melbourne Victory: Berisha brace inspires the champions

Brisbane Roar 3-2 Melbourne Victory: Berisha brace inspires the champions

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A first-half double to Brisbane striker Besart Berisha has helped the Roar to a valuable win over Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Brisbane have claimed a 3-2 win over the Melbourne Victory in an end-to-end battle at Suncorp Stadium that featured doubles for Besart Berisha and Harry Kewell.

A comfortable 3-1 half-time lead for the Roar was followed by a nervous final 40 minutes, when Kewell continued a standout performance by banging home his second clinical finish in the 50th.

Carlos Hernandez rattled the Roar's crossbar with a volley from 25 yards out in the final quarter of play, but in the end Berisha's brace and a penalty conversion from Henrique - all in a dominant first-half - saw the hosts through to their third-straight victory.

The result extends Brisbane's hold on second-place to five points over the third-placed Phoenix, while the Victory remain outside the top six.

Massimo Murdocca became the most-capped Roar player, running on for his 132nd appearance, and it took Berisha just 43 seconds to join him in the club's record books, moving past Sergio van Dijk for the most goals in a season with his 14th.

The Albanian accepted a speared pass from Thomas Broich at the top of the area, and with some frantic scrambling and precision control, he forced through four Melbourne defenders, giving Ante Covic no chance with a firm strike from close to the penalty spot.

But the visitors were not deflated by the early deficit and, after a pair of narrow misses, Kewell smashed home from the top of the area for a ninth-minute equaliser, capitalising on a brilliant infield drive and lay-off from Marco Rojas.

Brisbane's second goal was vintage end-to-end football. Matt Smith and Franjic worked it upfield to Broich in midfield, and the German he found Henrique with a through-ball to the right flank.  The move was completed with Berisha blasting home the cross.

The Roar seemed to put the game to bed in the 38th, when Henrique slotted home a penalty after Ubay Luzardo left out a leg and brought Erik Paartalu crashing down.

Melbourne came out from half-time determined and Kewell claimed his double in the 50th minute, latching onto a wayward cross from Broich, streaming past Mohamed Adnan and beating Michael Theoklitos with a low left-footer across the face of goal.

With the score 3-2 and the Roar still determined to attack, the chances kept coming for both sides.

Smith and Mohamed Adnan had strong games in the centre of defence for the home side, while Murdocca earned man-of-the-match honours from midfield and Berisha's attacking instincts were on full display.

Kewell and Hernandez showed trademark class for the visitors, and 20-year-old New Zealander Rojas had an exciting performance.

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