Roar snatch win as injuries hit Wanderers

Dec 2, 2017 - 9:54 AM Brisbane have finally got their A-League season on track, snatching a sorely needed 2-0 win off a tepid and injury-hit Western Sydney.

Ivan Franjic marked his return to the Roar with a sublime second-half strike to complement Massimo Maccarone's opener at a wind and rain-swept ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

Their second win in nine games lifts John Aloisi's struggling side from ninth to seventh on the ladder, and pushes the Wanderers down a slot to eighth and still searching for a first win since round one.

Western Sydney were left with a mountain to climb in the drab affair after losing both Oriol Riera and Jaushua Sotirio to injury in the first half, leaving new coach Josep Gombau with some serious headaches.

The result aside, the hosts started well in control, the unfortunate irony that Riera had provided the early highlights.

In the 19th minute, however, Riera was seemingly done and marched himself down the tunnel and up into the stands, making way for an early Brendon Santalab entrance.

"He felt that he was injured and just came and said he can not continue," Gombau said.

"Probably will be an injury - a strain - but we will check tomorrow."

By the half-hour mark Sotirio was visibly shaking while clutching at his left hamstring but, with Mark Bridge absent from the squad and no other attackers on the bench, left-back Jack Clisby was called into action.

Until then the Roar had survived through some last-ditch defending, but Peter Skapetis took a well-timed crack from distance that shaved the outside netting and Eric Bautheac proved a tidy outlet.

The Frenchman provided the headed assist for Maccarone's goal right on halftime, the Italian veteran belting in a left-foot half-volley past Vedran Janjetovic after Wanderers defenders failed to clear their lines.

It looked as if Gombau's woes would be compounded when his team's standout Alvaro Cejudo went down with injury and sought assistance, though the in-form Spaniard recovered to see out the match.

Aloisi went into the book for dissent after Michael Thwaite's clash with Nicholas D'Agostino left the Roar attacker worse for wear.

D'Agostino managed to play on and fired just over the crossbar at the death, but not before threading the ball to substitute Franjic at the edge of the box.

The fringe Socceroo had been on the field mere seconds when he struck Brisbane's second, taking a touch back inside to divert two defenders and curling his finish over Janjetovic's head.

"We fought really hard as a team," Aloisi said.

"Players worked for each other and showed we're a family and we're going to stick together."

Source: AAP

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