March 29, 2015 12:17:05 UK
Melbourne City secured what could be their most important win of the season as Jonatan Germano’s early goal saw them beat Brisbane Roar 1-0 at AAMI Park.
It meant City now have an eight-point gap over the defending champions in the battle for sixth spot, with Brisbane having one game in hand.
The league table has almost been turned on its head from last season, with Brisbane and last season’s beaten Grand Finalists Western Sydney set to miss out on the finals along with Central Coast who finished third in 2013-14.
Wellington Phoenix, who finished next to bottom last term, top the table and City, who were wooden spooners as Melbourne Heart a year ago, are in the box seat to make the Finals Series.
With Brisbane having lost to Wanderers in midweek, avoiding defeat to John van ‘t Schip’s team was a must. But they had already survived a close call before Argentinean midfielder Germano struck in the fifth minute.
Robert Koren’s cross saw Josh Kennedy climb above Jade North to power a header goalwards. Keeper Jamie Young could only parry the ball into the path of Germano who netted from close range to mark his 50th A-League game.
Melbourne City are 2.50 to win their next game against Western Sydney Wanderers, who are 2.75 with the draw 3.30.
The home side had virtually all of the clear-cut chances in the game, Brisbane’s best opportunity coming just before the interval when Brandon Borrello took a pass from Devante Clut and forced a save from Tando Velaphi at his near post.
The Roar showed signs of fatigue in what was their third game in six days, their finals bid being further hampered by the absence of stars Henrique and Thomas Broich through injury and Matt McKay on Socceroos duty.
Coach Frans Thijssen admitted his team’s chances of finishing above City for sixth spot were a lot more difficult now.
He said: “Not so many games to go. It’s still possible of course, we’ll still go for it. As long as it’s possible, you have to go for it.”
Thijssen added: “I think we deserved more than this, even in the first half I thought we were the better team and creating more chances. In the second half we were really on top.”
Brisbane are 2.00 to win their next match against Central Coast Mariners, who are 3.60 with the draw 3.50.
Don’t forget, if the match finishes 0-0, bet365 will refund all pre-match Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time and Scorecast bets with our fantastic Bore Draw Money Back offer.
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