Victory prevail as Barbarouses haunts Roar again
Kosta Barbarouses was at the double to guide Melbourne Victory’s 2-1 triumph over Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.
The Kiwi flyer put his Victory side in cruise control with two slick first-half finishes, his 12th and 13th goals of the Hyundai A-League campaign.
And despite the resilient Brisbane outfit erasing that buffer through Eric Bautheac’s perfectly measured lob over Matthew Acton early in the second half, Kevin Muscat’s side held on to seal their first win in the competition since a 3-2 victory over Central Coast Mariners on February 2.
Barbarouses was a late, late match winner on that Gosford evening and he eased tension at Marvel Stadium after racing onto Keisuke Honda’s pass and coolly slotting past Roar goalkeeper Brendan White midway through the opening half.
The striker’s finish punctured an optimistic start from the visitors and Brisbane were soon two down when Barbarouses dispatched a lovely clipped pass from James Troisi past White at the near post.
Having hit a hat-trick against Darren Davies’ side in January’s 5-0 drubbing, that cleanly hit half-volley meant five of Victory’s last seven goals against the Roar were scored by the former Brisbane starlet.
Victory had flexed their authority but returned from the interval complacent and were punished accordingly by Bautheac, who expertly lobbed Acton after Thomas Kristensen had dispossessed Raul Baena deep in his own half.
Barbarouses then spurned a wonderful chance to clinch back-to-back trebles against the Roar following a slick exchange involving Josh Hope and Honda, while the visitors continued to keep the hosts honest at the back.
It took a vital block from the returning Georg Niedermeier to deny a point-blank header from Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Barbarouses' quest for a hat-trick was foiled by White in injury time as Brisbane slumped to their 13th defeat of the season.