Brisbane Roar’s Scott Neville (left) competes for a header with Melbourne City’s Lachlan Wales on Sunday night. Picture: Getty Images
Brisbane Roar’s Scott Neville (left) competes for a header with Melbourne City’s Lachlan Wales on Sunday night. Picture: Getty Images

Roar’s finals hopes dented by loss to City

BRISBANE coach Robbie Fowler took aim at referees rather than his team after the Roar's push for an A-League finals berth suffered a setback on Sunday night at AAMI Park.

An own goal from unlucky Brisbane goalkeeper Jamie Young proved the difference as the Roar were beaten 1-0 by Melbourne City.

While they remain in the sixth and final playoff spot, the Roar are now within the sights of Western United and the Western Sydney Wanderers, who meet Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

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Wanderers will leapfrog the Roar if they defeat Brisbane this week.

A Roar loss to the Wanderers could also result in them being overtaken by Western United, who meet Adelaide United on Saturday night.

City's win on Sunday night moved them into second spot on the ladder, and reduced the deficit between them and leaders Sydney FC to 10 points.

The Roar can have few complaints about the loss as it wasn't until the 72nd mark that they had their first shot, a deflected Scott McDonald strike comfortably saved by City keeper Tom Glover.

Glover's counterpart Young was by far the busier of the two keepers as he made four saves in the final 15 minutes of the first half to ensure the game was scoreless at half-time.

Brisbane Roar’s Brad Inman reacts after he was dragged down by Melbourne City’s Adrian Luna (far left). Picture: Getty Images
Brisbane Roar’s Brad Inman reacts after he was dragged down by Melbourne City’s Adrian Luna (far left). Picture: Getty Images

However, 10 minutes into the second half Young deserved better as he dived full length attempting to save a volley from City's Bundaberg-born midfielder Josh Brillante.

Brillante's shot struck the post but the rebound hit the back of a floored Young, with the ball then rolling into the net.

Fowler felt referee Shaun Evans wrongly awarded a free-kick to City in the lead-up to the goal.

The Roar coach's frustrations got the better of him later in the half when he was yellow carded for dissent towards fourth (sideline) official Lachlan Keevers.

"Some of the decisions tonight were quite poor," Fowler said.

"There's no consistency ... it's been a general consensus on referees throughout the season.

"I can't fault my players tonight because the effort and the desire is there, but again we just talk about some of the decisions from the referee."

Josh Brillante hits the winner for Melbourne City. Picture: Getty Images
Josh Brillante hits the winner for Melbourne City. Picture: Getty Images

The Roar also suffered an injury setback when second-half substitute Aaron Amadi-Holloway was forced off the field with an ankle injury just five minutes after coming on as a replacement for midfielder Jacob Pepper.

Fowler was not panicking despite the Roar's loss - just their second defeat in 10 matches - having slightly opened the finals door for Western United and the Wanderers.

"We're not a bad team. There's still a lot to play for," he said.

"We weren't getting carried away when we had good results, and we won't get carried away because we've had a (bad) result.

"The league is tight. Teams can't beat anyone.

"It's in our own hands. It's all about us. Forget about the opposition."



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