March 05, 2015 09:37:00 UK
An early goal from Brandon Borrello gave Brisbane Roar their first Asian Champions League victory, as they beat Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 in Saitama.
The Roar had played eight games overall in the ACL without success, and losing at home last week to Beijing Guoan had left them under pressure to get a result against the J.League side.
Borrello found the net with a powerful drive from the right-hand side of the penalty area with less than three minutes gone at Saitama Stadium, beating keeper Shusaku Nishikawa inside his near post.
It means Frans Thijssen’s side, who are 11.00 to win the A-League Grand Final, now have two vital matches in a row against South Koreans Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
The two teams each have three points from two games played, and with Beijing topping Group G with maximum points and Urawa starting with two defeats the second qualifying spot looks to be between Brisbane and Suwon.
Borrello’s goal stunned the home crowd and gave the Roar the confidence boost they needed, with Urawa’s cause not helped by having defender Daisuke Nasu sent off in the second half.
Nasu saw red six minutes after the interval for bringing down Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic and denying him a goalscoring opportunity.
Kaluderovic worked hard in attack for the visitors, while playmaker Thomas Broich was outstanding.
Jamie Young, standing in for injured regular keeper Michael Theo, impressed and made a crucial save early in the second half to deny Shinzo Koroki.
The home side created another good chance just after the break but the unmarked Ryota Moriwaki blazed over the bar.
Brisbane spurned opportunities through Henrique and Kaluderovic, but Urawa could have stolen a point at the end when substitute Tadanari Lee got behind the defence only to head over the bar.
The Roar are 1.85 to win their next A-League match against Western Sydney, who are 4.20 with the draw 3.50.
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