Brisbane Roar moved one step closer to securing the A-League Premier’s Plate after a 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart on Saturday.
The Roar could have wrapped up the minor premiership if it were not for Adelaide’s 2-1 home loss against the Central Coast Mariners, also on Saturday, but Ange Postecoglou’s side will finish the season on top if the Mariners fail to beat the Melbourne Heart on Friday.
Even if the Mariners do win in Melbourne, all the Roar will need is a point from their clash with North Queensland on February 5 to finish the season atop the table, while Saturday’s win has already secured their spot in the 2012/2013 Asian Champions League.
The records keep coming for Postecoglou’s all-conquering side, as the Roar extended their unbeaten record to 23 matches, breaking a domestic football record in Australia set in 1987 by APIA Leichhardt.
Brisbane’s attempt to break the record started brilliantly when Costa Rican under-20 international Jean Carlos Solorzano notched his 11th strike of the season after just five minutes.
Solorzano’s pace took him away from Heart captain Simon Colosimo before he delivered a quality finish which takes him to second on the league’s scoring charts, equal with Central Coast’s Matt Simon on 11.
In-form James Meyer gave the Roar a two-goal advantage after 63 minutes with his fourth goal in three games in his first A-League start for the club and despite Gerald Sibon’s 75th minute consolation, Brisbane hung on for all three points.
In the day’s other matches, the Central Coast Mariners all but secured second spot on the table with a 2-1 away win at Adelaide United.
A sensational first-half set up the victory, with Patricio Perez and Joshua Rose getting on the scoresheet as the Mariners put on a clinic.
Travis Dodd gave Adelaide a late chance of an unlikely draw with his injury time equaliser, but the Mariners claimed a well-deserved three points.
Sydney FC kept their fledgling finals hopes alive with a 2-0 away win against the Perth Glory, set up by goals to Nick Carle and Bruno Cazarine.
The win gives Sydney FC, the reigning champion, a chance of making the finals with the Sky Blues ninth on the A-League table, just four points behind the sixth-placed Melbourne Heart.
With the top six featuring in the finals, Sydney will be hoping to make use of their game in hand on the Heart and continue their unbeaten run in 2011.