A DOUBLE from Besart Berisha has helped Brisbane Roar come from behind to record a 2-1 win over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The Reds grabbed an early lead through Osama Malik, who retained his place in the heart of defence with Nigel Boogaard left out of the side completely, before Berisha found the net in each half to ensure Brisbane claimed maximum points.
The home side was searching for its first victory since the opening day of the season while Roar was confident of its third win on the trot.
United started the better of the two sides and fired an early warning shot with Isaias shooting just over the bar from the edge of the area in the fourth minute.
The Reds didn’t have to wait long though to find the net, and they broke the deadlock just three minutes later courtesy of a header from Malik.
Malik headed home from close range after Marcelo Carrusca’s corner caused confusion at the near post and the rebound sat up nicely for the 23-year-old, who netted his second goal of the season.
Brisbane drew level on 21 minutes when Tarek Elrich carelessly brought down Corey Brown in the area leaving referee Peter O’Leary with no choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Berisha stepped up and coolly converted the spot kick, sending Eugene Galekovic the wrong way.
United continued to carve out chances in the first half and Spaniard Sergio Cirio was next to go close after Steven Lustica danced his way through the Roar defence.
The former Roar midfielder squared the ball for Cirio who curled his shot just past the post.
With the half drawing to a close, Fabio Ferreira wasted a guilt-edged chance to give his side the lead when the ball fell perfectly on the edge of the area but Roar keeper Matthew Acton denied the Reds’ flyer with a stunning save.
Brisbane bossed the early exchanges of the second half and their pressure told, causing United to abandon their passing game in defence.
Thomas Broich and Berisha proved to be constant menaces going forward and in the 72nd minute it was the Albanian who eventually doubled the visitors lead in extraordinary fashion.
The striker dribbled his way through United's defence with ease and was bearing down on goal with just Galekovic to beat.
Malik and Jon McKain gave chase and bundled down Berisha, but not before he was able to stick out his boot and direct his shot past the onrushing keeper leaving the entire United defence red-faced.
The goal flattened the home side while Brisbane asserted its authority on the contest.
As the Reds pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Ivan Franjic almost added a third, stinging the palms of Galekovic from a tight angle.
United very nearly levelled proceedings when substitute Awer Mabil raced down the right-hand side and supplied a perfect cutback for Cirio, but Acton was equal to the task.
The Reds tried desperately and had their claims for an injury-time penalty waved away when Malik was tackled in the area.